Parts of Jackson Considered “High Risk” for Insurance Coverage Due to Crime

JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – Some insurance companies will not issue insurance policies to business owners in parts of Jackson because they have been designated “high risk” due to the high crime rate of the city, according to the state insurance commissioner.

At the same time, recent burglaries in the capital are also worrying some business owners, as they fear losing their insurance coverage.

“Medgar Evers is where a lot is happening. You know, it’s not the first time we’ve had a break-in, and, you know, we’ve had a number of break-ins. And every time we make a claim, you know, it goes against you, ”said Ricky Singh, who owns several gas stations in Jackson.

Last week, thieves broke into his business with a stolen backhoe, stealing cigarettes and lottery tickets.

The last three times he’s been robbed, Singh said he had to pay the cost himself to avoid filing a claim.

“If I were to make another claim, I know for a fact that they would void my insurance,” Singh said.

Singh said he gets his insurance from State Farm and the premium is double what he has to pay for a gas station in Ridgeland because Jackson’s crime rate determines whether insurance companies will offer coverage.

“Many carriers refuse to take out what we call P&C insurance for small businesses that are constantly burgled or stolen at gunpoint because you just can’t, there’s no way to cover it all. losses, ”Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said.

Chaney said the risk assessment of these companies has changed in recent years, with insurers using their own claims database and other crime statistics to make that call.

The information used by these companies also paints a different picture of the capital than the administration and the police force in recent years.

The most recent crime statistics released by JPD date back to July 2020, according to the city’s website.

“Particularly with the recent election, some companies have said, ‘Well, are we looking at the prosecution of crime? Because it all happened under one administration. I don’t mean this as a criticism, it’s just a fact, ”Chaney said. “That’s what the companies are saying. And it’s their prerogative to say we’re not going to buy Jackson insurance anymore.

Chaney said he hopes the administration and lawmakers can work together to reduce crime in the capital.

He said some insurance companies won’t even insure businesses unless they agree to certain provisions as extra security.

“The stores had to resort to their own security, private security ensures the security of the store, in addition to having 24-hour guards in the stores. It costs money. And that way, they can still get insurance, ”Chaney said.

This is not an option for Singh, whose Southland Grocery and Gas store has been in his family for generations.

“We are the ones who work hard to provide for the community and take care of the elderly, the people who have been shopping with us for the longest time,” Singh said. “That’s the very reason we’re in Jackson, you know?” “

Not all Jackson is considered high risk.

Chaney said North Jackson is not, but areas of Eastover, Belhaven, Fondren and other parts of the city are.

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Justin D. O'Neill