Homeowner insurance rates along the Mississippi Coast are skyrocketing and insurance agents are in some cases scrambling to find coverage for older homes.
“It’s getting ugly out there,” said Joel Verdon, senior vice president at Lemon-Mohler Insurance Agency. He said the rate increases are running 15-70%, and sometimes even doubling.
Scott Mosher, owner and agent at Bishop Insurance Agency, said the rate increases are most acute within two miles of the coastline.
In addition to higher costs, coverage options are in some cases shrinking, too, both insurance executives said.
The higher cost of insurance is forcing homeowners to make tough financial decisions. Coupled with rising interest rates, insurance costs are also contributing to a slow-down in the real estate market, said Tanya Swoope, a real estate broker and founder of Gollott Lyons Real Estate.
Single-family home sales are down about 26% for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, an analysis by Carlene Alfonso at Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty shows.
“Everything we keep hearing is that it’s increasing, but now I keep hearing these rates are getting astronomical. It’s scary,” said Danny Lee, CEO of the Gulf Coast Association of Realtors.
The insurance and real estate professionals offered advice for homeowners facing higher homeowner insurance bills.
Why insurance costs are increasing in the Biloxi area
Homeowners tend to see no rhyme or reason for their escalating insurance costs. A recent Facebook post on the Ocean Springs Talk of the Town page said: “Looking for our home insurance policy, almost doubled with no claim … thank you