Biloxians in windpool may qualify for 20 percent discount

Biloxi homeowners who get their insurance through the state windpool may qualify for up to a 20 percent credit on their wind insurance premiums, thanks to policy changes and the city’s efforts in enforcing building codes.

The Mississippi Windstorm Underwriters Association or windpool — which is the insurer of last resort for 43,000 Mississippi residents — introduces the new credit beginning July 1.

In order to qualify, a home must have been built since 1996, and the resident must produce a Certificate of Occupancy, which can be obtained from the city’s Community Development Department. As an alternative to the credit for building codes there are credits for retrofitting your home to minimize wind damage

“The windpool is now going to reward its policyholders who live in communities who have effective building departments and are doing a good job of enforcing building codes,” said Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel. “Biloxi residents with privately-sold wind insurance have enjoyed a 20 percent credit since before Katrina, and now those who have policies through the windpool will qualify for that same benefit from this point forward.”

Communities rated by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau are ranked from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best score. Currently, Biloxi is ranked as a 4.

Homeowners with insurance through the windpool should be aware of two other factors in qualifying for the 20 percent credit: Those residents in Flood Zones A or V must provide proof of flood insurance, and a $250 state inspection fee is required before the retrofit credits can be applied. No inspection fee is required to receive the building code enforcement credits.

Said Creel: “Some people are concerned about having to pay a fee for a state inspection, but the one-time fee is minimal considering the discounts that you’ll be eligible to receive. In fact, you could recoup that $250 expense in the amount of money you save in the first couple of months of your reduced insurance premium.”

Creel recommends that Biloxi residents with windpool policies contact their insurance agent about the 20 percent discount.

More online: To see the notice from the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association about the windpool policy changes, click here.

Council to meet Tuesday morning, afternoon

The Biloxi City Council will meet twice on Tuesday, the group’s last scheduled meetings of its current four-year term.

The morning and afternoon sessions will be at City Hall and are open to the public.

The council will meet at 11 a.m. to hear about proposals from David Perks of the Gulf Coast Design Studio about the revitalization of the area near Division and Main streets. The meeting, which was called by Council President Bill Stallworth of Ward 2, is open to the public.

At its 1:30 p.m. meeting, the council will consider authorizing a contract with the firms H3 Collaboration Architecture and Dale and Associates to design a $7 million facility that will house the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, the Mardi Gras Museum and the Katrina museum.

The afternoon agenda includes more than a dozen measures in all.

To read the complete agenda and available resolutions, click here.

News and notes

Renaissance Garden: Renaissance Garden enthusiasts will meet Monday at the Donal M. Snyder Community Center to discuss plans for Hiller Park. To learn more about how you can be involved in the project, click here.

New terms: Biloxi’s mayor and City Council will have their swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, July 1 at the Biloxi Junior High School auditorium on Father Ryan Avenue. The ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is open to the public. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Road work: To see the daily status report on roadwork in Biloxi,
click here.