Slabbed finds Ajax’s Achilles Heel: Rock Mountain High or Just Stoned in Bermuda?

Special thanks to Chris Sposato. If memory serves there were a dirty (half) dozen “guaranteed” Cat Bond issues connected to Lehman. The second to come tumbling down belongs to Bermuda based Aspen Insurance Holdings, Ltd. and their special purpose entity Ajax Re Ltd. The associated ri$k to take a hit is covered earthquake damage in California. The story itself begs additional research as this deal sounds as if there might be Cat Bonds stuck inside Cat Bonds with a (subprime) Mortgage Backed Security twist. The list of players per the article is very convoluted as well.  The Royal Gazette has the Bloomberg story:

Ajax Re Ltd., a catastrophe bond sold by Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd., is likely to default on an interest payment this month, Standard & Poor’s said, the second such security hurt by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse.

S&P said it may downgrade $100 million of debt issued through Ajax Re Ltd. to D, the lowest grade, from CC, citing an “imminent interest payment default”, according to a statement from the New York-based ratings company yesterday.

Aspen sold the bonds in 2007 to protect against claims from Californian earthquakes.

“The issuer has notified us that it will not have sufficient funds available in the collateral payment account to make the scheduled interest payment,” S&P said. “We anticipate the transaction will default.” Continue reading “Slabbed finds Ajax’s Achilles Heel: Rock Mountain High or Just Stoned in Bermuda?”

Another victory for Louisiana policyholders!

Our courts are starting to remind me of one of the Greatest Moments in LSU Football – the 61-17 victory over the 1970 Ole Miss Rebels.  Most of our cases, in fact, have been a lot like Archie after the middle of the third quarter.  Not on the field.  Similarly, many of our strongest cases have been injured by motions, settled, and sealed tighter than Coach Vaught’s toupee.

So, sports fans, let’s give a big geaux for the way Louisiana’s  Third Circuit Court of Appeal tackled the issues in Farber v American National and another for their Supremes who looked at the writ for a replay, turned it down, and made the decision final today.

The Farbers‘ home in Vinton, Louisiana, was damaged during Hurricane Rita in the fall of 2005. They made a claim against ANPAC under their homeowner’s policy on September 26, 2005. ANPAC issued a check to the Farbers on January 23, 2006, in the amount of $23,224.66. By certified letter dated May 9, 2006, the Farbers made demand on ANPAC for an additional payment of $179,451.53 based upon a May 3, 2006 report from R & D Insurance Consultants, L.L.C.

As you will see, ANPAC’s $23, 224.66 was little more than a deposit – but what, pray tell, does the opposition to HR1264 have to offer in the way of consumer education that will prevent situations like this in the next disaster.

By certified letter dated May 15, 2006, the Farbers informed ANPAC that they were invoking the appraisal clause of the policy. Continue reading “Another victory for Louisiana policyholders!”