Paraphrasing Richard Nixon, Mississippi won't have State Farm Insurance to kick around anymore.
Stinging from defeat in a Hurricane Katrina damage claim in Biloxi, the company says it will no longer insure homeowners and businesses in the state, where it is the largest single insurer with a 30 percent market share. Allstate pulled out of Mississippi's six coastal counties last year.
"It is no longer prudent for us to take on additional risk in a legal and business environment that is becoming more unpredictable," said Senior Vice President Bob Trippel, in a statement.
State Farm is among a number of insurance companies hit with staggering claims in the wake of Katrina and other storms that have pounded the Gulf Coast in recent years.
While Allstate and some other carriers have cut back on coverage in storm-prone coastal areas, none until now has blacklisted an entire state.
The decision is expected to have significant impact on consumers. Currently State Farm holds 30 percent of the homeowner policies in the state. Other companies currently serving Mississippi will have to fill the gap.
State Farm has had a number of setbacks in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the state in 2005.
In January, a proposed $50 million class action settlement between the company and Mississippi homeowners was derailed by the judge hearing the case. U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter said the proposed settlement did not adequately spell out how payments would be determined and which homeowners would get them.
Also last month Gulf Coast property owners who lost nearly everything during Hurricane Katrina won a victory in court when a U.S. District Judge sided with them, ordering State Farm to pay $223,292 in damages the company had initially rejected.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had also filed suit against State Farm but dropped his state court suit when State Farm agreed to the tentative class action settlement. Hood had predicted the class action settlement would cost State Farm as much as $500 million.
Hood has also been pursuing a criminal investigation of State Farm, which he said he would drop when the class-action settlement is finalized.
After learning of State Farm's announcement, Hood said the company was trying to back off its commitment to remain in the state, which he said was part of the lawsuit settlement.
"The whole reason for reaching the settlement with them was to keep them here," Hood said.
Homeowners in Mississippi's coastal counties who can't find a private insurer can turn to the state's wind-insurance pool, where rates are as much as 90 percent higher than commercial insurance.