New Alabama insurance chief weighs coastal options

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley's new insurance commissioner said the administration is looking at ways to help coastal property owners struggling with high premiums and lost coverage in the wake of hurricanes, including possible state assistance.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling, appointed in September, spoke Tuesday at a public meeting in Theodore that drew about 200 residents.

Ridling said one possible option would be to provide state subsidies to help residents cover high deductibles. He released no specific details, however, and said that route could be difficult.

He also indicated that the state would consider giving tax credits or rebates to Mobile and Baldwin residents whose rates are much higher than statewide averages.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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