A Quick Thought on Janet Napolitano Taking over at Homeland Security

Obviously the choice to head the Department of Homeland Security is of great interest to the Slabbed so it was natural for me to email one of our sources in Congress to get a feel for Governor Napolitano. I quote:

I don’t know about her specifically, but I expect the Obama Administration generally to be reformers so I think they will be receptive.

(There will be a push)……for adding wind to flood asap and then go to work on a larger all-perils natcat proposal. Eventually………fold the flood program into an all perils insurance program.

Also, there may be strong support for pulling FEMA back out of DHS.

For FEMA and NFIP, I expect the new administration will beef up the federal oversight and reduce the reliance on contractors.

In case our commenters are wondering about my congressional source Continue reading “A Quick Thought on Janet Napolitano Taking over at Homeland Security”

a big SLABBED welcome to readers from Washington Post

Qui tam made the Washington Post – and, thanks to one of our readers, so did SLABBED with his comment linking the scheme: Oh, lord I want to be in that number.
Looking beneath that iceberg may show that the insurance industry has also been looting and profiting from the taxpayer trough: (link)

Qui Tam recovery was the subject of the story in the Post – Justice Department Recovers $1.3B in Contracting Fraud.

That brings to $21 billion the amount of money the government has collected through civil fraud suits since the federal False Claims Act was strengthened in 1986, according to a DOJ statement. Continue reading “a big SLABBED welcome to readers from Washington Post”

A Personal Perspective on the Power Game and the NFIP’s Katrina Expedited Claims Procedures

The memories of those early days after Katrina’s landfall will stay with me until I meet my maker and I well remember the seemingly ardous task of itemizing our possessions for the insurance claim. In an earlier post on my flood adjustment experience I said you have to be here to fully understand the context of the events. The expedited claims procedures are such a case in point of important nuance that is easy to miss. Let’s start by revisiting The Scheme Chapter 5:

The expedited flood procedures approved by the flood program after consultation with insurers also allowed companies to settle flood claims without a site visit if satellite and aerial images showed that the home disappeared in the storm in areas that suffered storm surge or if the home sat in flood waters for an extended period of time and the damage likely exceeded the policy limits.

In addition, FEMA waived the line-by-line adjusting that was of concern to participants in the Wooley meeting after the storm. Rather than require room-by-room, item-by-item calculation of insured losses, FEMA allowed flood adjusters with two large but unnamed insurance companies to calculate damages by measuring the square footage of each room and characterizing the building materials as high, medium, or low grade, according to the GAO report.

On the surface the waiver of the line by line adjusting requirement would be a God send to both adjuster and policyholder alike. The reality is a bit different and coping with that reality after Katrina meant literally buring the candle for hours at night documenting line by line our loss. One such memorable September 2005 evening included a big ass bottle of Grey Goose Vodka my best friend and (fellow slabber) found in the mud while he was recovering personal effects.

The logical question is why go through the trouble when NFIP waived the requirement? Continue reading “A Personal Perspective on the Power Game and the NFIP’s Katrina Expedited Claims Procedures”