Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style

Frankly I’m surprised the Bay St Louis NFIP letter contraversy is just making the Sun Herald but then again I recall only one short report on the same topic from WLOX a few weeks ago. I’m going to be completely honest and say I’ve been ducking this issue for weeks because the implications for impacted residents are severe despite the double talk coming from Bay St Louis city officials. Unfortunately if you are an impacted homeowner looking for straight answers, you’ll find none in the JR Welsh report on the topic in today’s Sun Herald which focuses on political finger pointing instead. First we’ll begin with the reporting which conveys some facts and then I’ll give some analysis including what I tell my paying clients from the area:

Hundreds of homeowners here are scratching their heads after receiving letters informing them they must either elevate, tear down or move their houses more than three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The letters were mailed to property owners by the city’s Building Department at the behest of the federal National Flood Insurance Program. About 1,300 of the letters have gone out over the last two months or so, city officials said.

The ominous letter informs property owners a “Substantial Damage Determination” found their property, located in a special flood-hazard area, had suffered hurricane damage in 2005 that equals or exceeds 50 percent of the current market value. Their options: Tear down the house, raise it higher or move it. Continue reading “Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style”

Saturday Music Post

We’ve been at this one year shy 14 days and what an amazing year this has been. I warned then newbie Nowdy that getting mixed up with me was likely to land her in some strange and new places in cyber space. I think I kept that promise. To my old cyber friends, all the new ones we’ve made this past year and on behalf of all of us here at Slabbed we thank you for coming here, reading and contributing, especially those with an insurer perspective such as Proximo and Mr Bullstroke.


The Concept of the Classic Reversal

Pronunciation: ˈkla-sik ri-ˈvər-səl

A sudden change in the price direction of a stock, index, commodity, or derivative security.

A reversal can be a positive or negative change against the prevailing trend. Technical analysts watch for these patterns because they can indicate the need for a different trading strategy on the same security.

Since I’m a numbers guy I tend to think in those terms. For example, around one year ago the Scruggs scandal broke and State Farm, with a large helping hand from several media and blog outlets, used that story to pummel innocent policyholders whose only crime was hiring a lawyer to help them fight for their contractual rights. The rest is history, some people were able to take the blows and keep on fighting. Others, like the McIntosh family gave out and settled for peanuts. Being on the receiving end of such a “reversal” really bites. Continue reading “The Concept of the Classic Reversal”

A Sneak Peek at the Scheme Part 6

I hope Nowdy doesn’t mind but I took a peek at Chapter 6 of the Scheme series and thought I’d give out an advance teaser as it is so good. Look for the full post soon:

Technology dominated the market for handling claims of property damage following Hurricane Katrina with an on-going off-board version of the monopoly game – played with the insurance industry’s usual three-pronged response when a significant liability risk begins to emerge:

monopoly-money-five-hundred-dollar-sm…limit its financial exposure under policies it has already sold by mounting an aggressive litigation campaign against coverage;

monopoly-money-five-hundred-dollar-sm1…influence public policy and legislation in a manner that limits its potential financial and legal exposure to such claims; and Continue reading “A Sneak Peek at the Scheme Part 6”

A Sign of the Times…

What is amazing to me is that we have not seen more news like Bailey’s Lumber announcement they are shuttering their Gulfport store. Residential construction has been in the tank for about a year now across the vast majority of the coast due to insurance affordability issues.  Now with the credit crisis and economic slowdown in full bloom, the few pockets of activity left in Eastern Harrison/Western Jackson counties are also suffering.

There is a good bit of analysis I could add to Ryan LaFontaine’s story but I won’t since I’m feeling lazy.  😉  Mr Bailey is absolutely right that Home Depot and Lowes are not his company’s problem. Contractors with little to no backlog would be the cause IMHO.

The slumping economy is forcing one of the Coast’s lumber giants to shut its doors, despite much post-Katrina construction left to be done in South Mississippi.

Bailey’s Lumber and Supply, a major player in construction in the Southeast since 1951, will soon close its Gulfport location as a belt-tightening move to help weather the current economic storm. Continue reading “A Sign of the Times…”