Insurance News You Can Use

Welp folks this Cowboy don’t know what to make of ole Chaney. One day he campaign promisin‘ to make the insurance commissioner appointed then after he wins he says he wasn’t going to fight for that in the legislature since it was just his personal opinion. A couple weeks back he says rates is goin‘ up and now he says rates is goin‘ down. Maybe one of the others can make sense of this Sun Herald story for me.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney told members of the Biloxi Businessmen’s Club on Thursday he hopes to lower residential rates in the state wind pool by at least 10 percent.Chaney said he would like to see a decrease of up to 40 percent in rates for the coverage offered by South Mississippi’s wind insurance company of last resort, but doesn’t know if that’s possible. The wind pool is shopping for reinsurance, which would help cover its losses in case of a disaster. Chaney will be transferring $40 million to the pool between now and July to help pay for the coverage.

With reinsurance rates going down, the hope is wind pool rates also can be lowered.

Wind pool rates increased 90 percent for homeowners in October 2006 because of Hurricane Katrina. On the Coast, insurance companies also stopped offering new customers homeowner insurance that included wind coverage and in some cases cancelled policies at renewal time.

Chaney said the Coast is probably one of the “most profitable markets” for insurance companies that offer policies without wind coverage because the risk of ice storms and tornadoes, which their policies do cover, is relatively low.

A day earlier, Chaney had announced Aegis Security Insurance Co. would resume offering new policies in Mississippi, but it turns out the company will offer wind coverage only as far south as George, Stone and Pearl River counties.

In other news the leader of the Diamondhead Slingshot Group has finally settled out with them crooks at State Farm. It only took 30 months and bringin‘ in a lawyer to get them Gucci suit wearin‘ crooks to experience a come to Jesus moment and honor their obligations. Havin‘ to fight your insurance company tooth and nail is the new fangled way of doin‘ business. Besides them executives and their yearly bonuses the other folks I see benefitin‘ from the current system is the lawyers. Here is the Anita Lee story:

A Diamondhead homeowner who rallied policyholders to fight for payment of their Katrina claims has settled her lawsuit with State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.Notice of the settlement was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. Terms were undisclosed.

Kenneth and Judy Dutruch sued State Farm in June 2007. They accused the company of breaching its contract to cover Katrina damage to the couple’s vacation home and sought punitive damages for denial of their claim.

Judy Dutruch has told the Sun Herald in previous interviews State Farm refused to consider evidence of wind damage to the couple’s South Diamondhead home off the Bay of St. Louis. State Farm sent experts to examine the property only after the Merlin Law Group filed the lawsuit on the Dutruchs‘ behalf.

Experts hired by the Dutruchs, including a forensic arborist, concluded their home suffered extensive wind damage – covered under their State Farm policy. State Farm concluded storm surge, excluded from coverage, destroyed the home.

As a result of widespread denials by State Farm and other major insurance companies, Judy Dutruch formed the Slingshot Gang in Diamondhead to unite waterfront homeowners. They pooled money to pay for expert reports, shared information and provided moral support to one another.

Many members of the group have settled their claims, but the Slingshots agreed not to disband until all claims were resolved.

As part of the settlement, both sides agreed not to disclose the terms. In fact, they could say little more than they were “pleased.”

Judy Dutruch added, “We are certainly glad that it is all over and we can now start thinking about future plans of rebuilding.”

A State Farm spokesman said, “We’re pleased to have resolved our differences with Mrs. Dutruch.”

2 thoughts on “Insurance News You Can Use”

  1. I believe Commissioner Chaney explained new policies would be written in the three remaining Coastal counties after the wind pool reduction. I had a link to his clarification and will find it and put it up.

    I’m sure there’s a better way to correct an error than delete and create a new post – and as soon as I figure it out, I’ll give it a try, meanwhile : )

  2. Dumping all of the three coastal counties in the windpool was not the intent when it was set up Promise. As Mr. Chaney pointed out we may be a better overall risk despite the occasional hurricane. It even makes less sense to dump all the new customers in the three off coastal counties in the pool. Perhaps this new insurance market will help alleviate the problem.


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