Putting Kodrin v State Farm in perspective. Slabbed unifies the 5th Circuit decisions

I’ll start this post by publicly thanking Chip Merlin and Rick Trahant for their insight along with David Rossmiller. Rossmiller?? Has Sop lost his mind???? No, it was yesterday’s spirited exchange that I had with the guy, whom we affectionately call Rossie internally here at Slabbed that provided just enough intellectual stimulation for me to gain a greater insight into these cases and indeed unify that which is really happening in downtown New Orleans at the 5th Circuit Court of appeals. We need to begin with Rossie’s last blog entry which happened to be on Kodrin:

Kodrin is the ultimate in single causation questions: that’s all the jury heard, a dichotomy between the Kodrins’ claim that wind alone destroyed their house, and State Farm’s claim that flood alone destroyed their house. This may sound like a strange set-up to you, until you look at the facts of the case: the whole neighborhood was hit by Katrina flooding, which washed the rest of the houses off their foundations and kind of pooled them in one location. These homes, although severely damaged, were not utterly torn down and demolished. The Kodrins’ home, among all of them, was the only one obliterated…………

Now, this gives me some hope that this panel gets it when it comes to an understanding of the proper analysis to differentiate between single and multiple force damage: first determine what the loss is. The example used, flooded carpets and wind-damaged roof, was a fairly common scenario in Katrina damage, but it really doesn’t present any analytical problems, only problems of proof. The real test of understanding is the realization that the carpet itself, or the roof itself, could be damaged by two single forces that caused separate damage, one covered and one uncovered, and that this does not make them concurrent forces.

Although the court left standing the jury verdict on property damage, it vacated the award of punitive damages. The court said, in light of the evidence, there could be an honest dispute about what caused the damage to the Kodrinhome. Again here, I don’t know what happened with the flood payment, whether that was returned or not, or the precise circumstances under which it was applied for, paid and accepted, but the very fact of a flood payment creates an idea in my mind that there could be an honest belief that flood caused the damage.

Here’s what the court said about bad faith, when it exists and when it doesn’t:

State Farm declared that it determined flooding was the more likely cause of the damage to the home because (1) the Kodrins’ neighborhood was inundated when a levee was overtopped during Hurricane Katrina, (2) the Kodrins’ home was just one house away from that levee, and (3) many other houses in the area were lifted off their foundations and destroyed by the floodwaters. The Kodrinsthemselves acknowledged that their claimed wind damage to their home was unusual in their neighborhood, advancing that a tornado must have caused the damage as their speculation why their home was the only one in the area destroyed by wind, not flooding. On these facts, we perceive no probative evidence that State Farm acted in bad faith. State Farm’s refusal to pay was with reason, even if the jury ultimately rejected that reason. The Kodrinshave failed to prove otherwise; they essentially ask this court to find bad faithany time an insurer denies coverage and a jury disagrees. This would unduly pressure insurers to pay out claims that they have reason to believe lie outside the scope of coverage, solely to avoid penalties later. Such a rule would pervert the presumption that insurers act in good faithunless the insured proves bad faith, and this is foreclosed by Louisiana law.

I’ve left out the parts of his post where I thought the legal analysis was shoddy leaving our readers to decide that for themselves from reading the comments there. Rossie, for his part will learn from this post why the jury in Kodrin received single peril jury instructions. Our readers will learn why Kodrin attracted Rossie’s attention back in 2007 while other cases like Dickerson have never graced the pages of his blog AND HOPEFULLY lawyers who read us will gain a greater understanding of what is involved in proving bad faith on part of an insurer, in this case State Farm using standard Katrina slab case fact patterns.

We begin back in December 2007 with Chip Merlin’s blog entry on the oral arguments in Broussard, a Mississippi case that made minor national headlines when the 5th Circuit reversed it.

Unlike in the Tuepker case, where the Tuepkers were paid substantial settlement monies by State Farm prior to the appellate outcome, the Broussards have been paid a mere $2,400 since Katrina. William Walker and Jack Denton represent the Broussards. They tried the case quite differently than my firm would have, but did a very good job. With little pre-trial discovery, they inexpensively and quickly presented the facts to the jury and got to the critical issues of the case on the record.

At trial, Judge Senter directed a verdict in favor of the Broussards, ruling that State Farm committed bad faithin the investigation and adjustment of the case. The jury was allowed to consider, and did find, that State Farm should pay punitive damages for its bad faith conduct. The speed of the trial surprised us, though the result did not. At trial, it appeared that State Farm’s only evidence showing the cause of damage to the Broussards’ structure was a late guess regarding causation made by experts long after State Farm denied the claim.

Like many homes that were total losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina, State Farm faced the nearly impossible task of proving how much of the damage was caused by flood waters or storm surge which are excluded causes under the policy. In partial loss situations, it is much easier to make this determination because the structure is left for adjusters to examine and determine the amount of covered and uncovered damage. When only a slab remains, the practical problem is that the evidence needed to prove the excluded causes no longer exists and absent direct evidence, State Farm and its experts must rely on a best “guess” as to the amount of damage excluded. Senteressentially ruled that this “guessing” of the excluded cause of damage was manifest bad faith.

The impossibility of determining with any precision the amount of damage caused by the excluded flood perils was exactly what many of State Farm’s initial engineering reports were saying. Indeed, many of these early engineering reports from all carriers indicated that wind, a covered peril, did cause damage and that determining the amount of the excluded flood damage was not possible for lack of evidence.

In investigating our own client’s claims, we spent time with many carrier catastrophe adjusters immediately following the storm, and even they admitted this and speculated that under traditional “all risk” adjustment principals, most slab claims would have to be paid because the carriers could not prove the exclusion without speculation.

However, what goes on in the field and what insurance representatives agree they are taught about how the policies are supposed to work BEFORE the loss occurs does not reflect what claims management and their attorneys will later argue in denials or to judges that have no such adjustment experience or training. This was exactly what was happening at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday. Judges rely upon briefs and argument from the attorneys to get rulings right. Most judges are not experts in insurance law. Even the basic principals of adjustment or policy language may seem confusing to those not experienced with the history and lore of insurance.

Now of course Chip actually sat trough the oral arguments and his blog entry about those arguments was written well before Broussard was ultimately decided. At the time he posted about what he heard that day in the 5th Circuit, you got the feeling the Broussards would come up with the short end of the stick as the entry continues:

Unfortunately, nothing close to this was discussed in Wednesday’s oral argument. As masterful as Bill Walker was at trial, Judge Edith Jones accused Walker of being “flip” in his arguments before the court. Walker teaches insurance law at Ole Miss, but there was little taught during his argument. The judges seemed bewildered. For example, one panelist asked whether the policyholder has to prove the amount of “covered” damage and not just a dollar amount following damage. While some of my colleagues would knee jerk respond “no,” the correct answer is “yes.” The response should have been: Yes. In a named peril policy, the policyholder must prove that the damage was caused by a named peril and the dollar amount. However, in an “all risk” policy like the one the Broussards purchased, they must show physical damage and prove a dollar amount of damage. State Farm has already stipulated that the house sustained physical damage and that the dollar amount was for the policy limits to the real and personal property.” He could have gone a step further, but did not, and said: The Personal Property section of the policy issued by State Farm covered the contents on a named peril basis. The named peril which caused that damage is “windstorm.” State Farm has stipulated that Hurricane Katrina is a “windstorm.” In State Farm’s manuals and operation guides, it notes that hurricanes are examples of windstorms. Its own claims managers admit this. Thus, the Broussards have met their burden of proof under both sections of the policy. State Farm therefore had the burden to prove the amount of damage excluded and failed to meet this burden.”

The problem is that Bill Walker did not have the evidence about the operation guides and claims manuals in the trial record. He may not even know about them. His discovery was not extensive……

Judge Senter noted that State Farm admitted that a “windstorm” damaged the property. While the claims management in Bloomington may disagree, the wind/water protocol and the creative, after the fact effort, to prove the amount of “possible” damage by wind through statistical experts is where State Farm damned its customers. Before Katrina, the issue about paying or not paying for physically damaged homes which were destroyed through a covered cause of loss, wind, or by an excluded flood had not arisen frequently enough for State Farm to make an operational guide. I assume, following the aforementioned principals, that State Farm previously paid those claims.

Faced with the dilemma of paying for hundreds, if not thousands, of “slab” homes, upper management of State Farm made a new claims standard known as the “wind/water protocol.” In short, it stated that in absence of physical evidence demonstrating wind damage, the claim should be denied. Since slab cases had no physical evidence remaining, the entirety of those claims were denied. Unfortunately for many along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, other insurers, but not all, followed the example of the industry leader. State Farm and many other carriers started denying claims en masse approximately six weeks after the storm. Many of these denials were based on simple and quick field observations by the claims representatives following “marching orders” from home office executives. Indeed, since many engineering reports undermined the analytical basis for complete denial, many companies ordered engineering investigations stopped.

Of course Rossie terms such talk “conspiracy theories” but it is exactly what happened after Katrina. I think the greater truth here is the act of insurance bad faith isn’t the same as paying for the act of insurance bad faith. Chip knew the outcome on Broussard after hearing the arguments and was telling us the why in advance: The Broussards lawyer took shortcuts with discovery and evidence.

State Farm does not have their good neighbor logos slapped over most every major sporting event (the ones Allstate doesn’t sponsor) because they are a bunch of fools, far from it. And if I were doing their PR what Katrina cases would I want folks like David Rossmiller to blawg on and have media relations put front and center of friendly press? The ones with a good chance of a Farm victory being the obvious choice which brings us to Kodrin, a slab case from Louisiana that involves flooding. Left out of Rossie’s blog entry was the fact the Kodrin’s house debris ended up in a different spot from the rest of the neighborhood but otherwise it fits the Broussard slab case fact pattern Chip Merlin so well described in his entry on the case. Unlike Broussard the jury made a finding of fact. Like Broussard, Dickerson, and Grilletta, Kodrin had a punitive/extracontractual damage component that was examined by the 5th Circuit. We have blogged extensively on all these cases.

We’ll begin with the jury charge, one that gave them a choice between the cause of destruction, wind or water. To my untrained eye those instructions look very similar to the instructions the jury received in Weiss v Allstate. The reason for such an instruction is the tactical practice of law in a wind/water case. I’ll add my understanding it is not appropriate in every case but in Kodrin it is the likely reason the $200,000 jury verdict wasn’t overturned along with the extracontractual damages by the 5th Circuit. I think this also explains Rossie’s curosity on that topic. And what Rossie didn’t know that I shared on his blog was Kodrin was heard in tandem with Dickerson at the 5th Circuit due to a perceived commonality those cases shared on the issue of extra contractual damages due to insurer bad faith. Our posts on Dickerson can be found herehere, here and here. The cause of the extracontractual damages in both were findings of bad faith. The 5th circuit upheld Dickerson and reversed Kodrin. Why?

And I don’t know what happened at the office…..

Let’s begin by listening to the Oral Arguments for both Kodrin and Dickerson before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Yes, that right, the 5th Circuit puts the oral arguments online for anyone to hear. To those highly interested I’d recommend listening to the entire hour and 4 minutes. In the Kodrin arguments Judge King, having reviewed the case record, goes straight to the heart of the matter with Kodrin attorney John Redmann at timestamp15:12, “I don’t understand what evidence there was of bad faith….?” Mr Redmann’s rambling response included the blockquote that heads this section. And here it is appropriate to repeat from Chip’s entry on Broussard:

The problem is that Bill Walker did not have the evidence about the operation guides and claims manuals in the trial record. He may not even know about them. His discovery was not extensive……

Contrast Mr Redmann’s long, rambling non-answer to Judge King’s bad faith question with the explanation given by Dickerson lawyer Soren Gisleson found at timestamp 42:35 of the same media. Mr Gisleson doesn’t have to face the dreaded, “where’s the bad faith?” question because the evidence was there in the trial record for the judges to review before the arguments. Instead Gisleson was free to debunk Lexington’s arguments concerning the applicability of the Louisiana bad faith penalty statutes which he did with precision. The contrasts in the quality of the arguments of the respective policyholder lawyers on this media is absolutely striking.

And isn’t this the real story of the Katrina litigation? What State Farm did here after Katrina to certain of their insureds has been too well chronicled for all but the blindest State farm apologists to see. Kodrin was in no way a vindication of State Farm’s claims practices anymore than the McIntosh settlement was despite the PR spin. And for the thousands of policyholders that would later become plaintiffs that fact is, the deck was stacked against them before the first flood waters ever arrived.  Policyholders, forced into the market for the services of a lawyer because of State Farm’s blanket denials, knew neither the legal issues involved nor which legal practitioners really knew what they were doing in these somewhat unique cases.  By contrast State Farm’s had one of the best coordinated legal teams money could buy, one that knew the anti concurrent clause didn’t apply to this litigation but still shamelessly raised it, along with bogus burden of proof arguments, as issues to distract from the real ones. Unfortunately for homeless Katrina impacted policyholders, the Farm has enjoyed a large degree of success with such tactics

I’ll end this post with this analogy I heard from a lawyer who communicates with us only offblog. He once compared the Katrina litigation to the movie The Patriot with policyholder and their lawyers playing the Continental Rebels and team insurance as the Red Coats. To paraphrase him, early on every time the Continental Army took on the British they were soundly defeated just as policyholders were. The Swamp Fox arrived and the British began to lose as the fighting intensified. Then, at Cowpens, the unthinkable happened and the British were routed. Indications are 2009 will be a good year for policyholders in the courtroom, especially those with lawyers that dot all the I’s and cross all their pretrial T’s.

sop

14 thoughts on “Putting Kodrin v State Farm in perspective. Slabbed unifies the 5th Circuit decisions”

  1. Merlin made a lot of money on settlements that Broussard helped bring about. He had some cases that would have forced the courts to face the engineering report fraud but he settled them, so we were denied his brilliant oral arguments. Broussard is still the best win out there because it is the one that forced State Farm to start settling cases. I don’t blame Walker for the fact that the 5th Circuit searches for excuses to deny punitive damages. Senter is the person they repudiated, not Walker. Senter had explained the law very clearly in his opinion. Jones just didn’t want to acknowledge it.

  2. In your otherwise execellent post, I am concerned you are doing somewhat of a disservice to a very fine and able trial attorney, Bill Walker. I had the same concerns when writing my Blog about the Broussard appeal awhile ago.

    Bill did an excellent job at the trial level. He made a tactical decision that a fast and economical presentation was in his client’s best interest. His victory and the Broussard trial rulings helped thousands resolve cases much more favorably than had Bill Walker not had a trial win. I am very greateful to him, and he should be seen as an inspiration to all attorneys that have an interest in helping policyholders. There is a lot to be learned from studying the techniques of Bill Walker.

    The problem is that State Farm is in the litigation game for the long haul. The trial is merely the middle of the game and not the conclusion. Those rascally, smart and determined State Farm attorneys, in Mississippi and Bloomington, could analyze the possiblity of using a Broussard trial record to escape the institutional problems created at the Home Office and by patterned claims decisions in the Gulf Coast.

    Many of those patterned claims actions and motives are being raised by the Rigsby sisters in their ongoing saga. Bill Walker did not want a long saga for his clients and diligently moved his cases along–something every attorney must consider and try to accomplish.

  3. I wouldn’t want to do a disservice to Mr Walker and I agree that blame (for lack of a better term) for Broussard is also shared with Judge Senter.

    I also think everything Chip just wrote is also true and I’ll grant without a good peek on the inside of the case it is impossible to know what drove the decision making. But we also have hindsight and actual results to judge these trial strategies by and I don’t think we can ignore that.

    And while Brian’s observations about the judges on the 5th Circuit is true, it is equally true everyone knew what they were dealing with there. For me the Ah Ha! moment in this came when Rick convinced me that bunch of conservative jurists would rule according to the law if the case were presented correctly.

    There are parts of Broussard that were indeed helpful to policyholders and thus helped settle cases as you guys point out. The bottom line lesson we get courtesy of hindsight is to get the extra, as in the bad faith “extras” you can’t economize.discovery or the evidence.

    sop

  4. This whole “saga” has been literally trial and error. I’ll be the first Katrina lawyer to admit here that I have made some mistakes and miscalculations in Katrina cases. Fortunately for me, those have not been well-publicized. All you can do is speak to your clients about the mistakes and learn from them.

    In every trial (jury or jury), there is always a palpable tension between trying your case quickly (especially with juries) and making a good record for appeal. When somebody finds that perfect balance, I hope he/she publishes a book.

    Sop has a memory like a steel trap, but if he picked up one thing out of my ramblings, it’s that I do truly believe that the majority (not all) of the most conservative of judges will find/affirm bad faith, if it is really there.

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had insurance lawyers (and even some Fed. district judges and magistrates) try to hang the 5th Circuit over my head when trying to get cases settled.

  5. I guess if your a Katrina policy holders attorney and Rossmiller shows up reporting about your case its the legal equivalent of having the Weather Chanel guy check into your town to report on a pending hurricane? Both only show up when something bad is about to happen to a homeowner.

  6. I truly do not believe the Fifth Circuit will do what is legally correct, unless they are given zero “outs”. That is to say, the record is so tight that they would be engaging in pure judicial activism to overturn a big penalties award.

    This is in no way a comment on whether or not Kodrin was decided correctly.

    To me, the biggest difference between Dickerson, Griletta and Kodrin was the fact Dickerson and Griletta were bench trials. The district court judge in both cases made a record of the bad faith. In my opinion, its a lot more difficult to find manifest error when dealing with a judge’s decision as opposed to 12 lay people.

    I keep re-visiting Senter’s finding of bad faith in Broussard based on State Farm’s burden shifting claims handling practices. The 5th reversed him on that finding and anybody who knows anything about all risks policies knows that for an insurer to shift the burden of proof like State Farm did is acting purely in bad faith. Otherwise, insureds might as well risk certain death to document what occurred when.

    The whole discernible wind damage mantra, if allowed to stand as an acceptable claims handling practice, will make the recovery of penalties extremely difficult in slab cases.

    I believe the 5th Circuit really, truly has sympathy for the insurers given scope of Katrina. Instead, of seeing that SF implemented a bad faith scheme from the get go, they simply believe slab cases are tough calls and absent some “smoking gun” put forth in the perfect context, they are not going to allow a big penalties award to stand.

  7. Are they tough calls or is it that people have a tough time calling them?

    We need to pass Gene Taylor’s legislation HR1264 and hold the people playing games with it accountable for what’s happening without a solution that benefits the common good.

  8. You stole my post there Nowdy. The Courts are not designed to create our insurance model. Congress has that duty. The real problem is a lack of Congressional action on a problem which is economically destroying the Coastal homeowners market in our Nation. How big is that market? Oh just over half the infastructure in our Nation that’s all.

    With over half our Nation having an insurance crisis which was then FOLLOWED by a housing crisis you might think someone would notice. Someone did. His name is Gene Taylor and your reference to the bill is on the money.

    Our Nations coastal areas are the areas where the majority of intense economic activity is occuring. Coastal counties lead our Nations economic growth.
    Removing a basic building block for economic activity from our Nation’s coastal regions can only lead to one thing—failure. If we want this Nation to remain economically vibrant Congress will have to provide society with functioning economic models for the basics. Banking, insurance are the two most important building blocks we have in our Nation. AIG’s insurance program, which they falsely classified as non-insurance insurance, is at the heart of our economic crisis in subprime. CAT insurance issues are even problematic because they impact people who are trying and capable of right thing but don’t have a way to do it.

    When Congress goes back to the models adopted by our grandparents during the Depression and impliments them even to insurance we will have a more stable economic structure. It will not have the wide swings we are having now in boom and bust cycles. It will allow people to better plan their work lives and retirement. I believe overall it will promote long term growth. HR 1264 is just such a program as it allows reponsible consumers the ability to pre-pay for their own disaster needs and not rely upon the tax payers to pick up the tab. This is one of the rare cases where a government program can and does work best–the case where private industry is not able to work. The industry has proven itself to be a failure in terms of helping people pre-pay for their own disaster needs and this makes it a non-private market problem. Industry has abandoned the market. Trust me I know first hand.

  9. As long as there are separate policies for wind and flood damage, there will be disputes over causation after every major hurricane.
    What good is our judicial system if after 3 and a half years we still have courts that give insurers all the benefit of the doubt in their favor? How hard is it to uphold all the precedents that say the insurer has the burden to prove the loss is excluded? I just don’t see anything complicated here. No one can honestly look at the difference between the immediate payment of flood limits and the years of denial and delay in payment of wind claims and find good faith toward the policyholders or fiduciary responsibility on behalf of taxpayers.

  10. Brian is 100% correct. In cases that I have where the h/o and the W.Y.O. are the same I compare and contrast the haphazard manner in which the flood claims were handled with the arduous, drawn out run the insured through the dirt manner used to adjust the h/o claims.

    We don’t need federal legislation creating one policy. Think about it— the federal legilation could possibly pre-empt the state penalty statutes. Good luck trying to get Congress to enact penalty statutes that are stronger than those already in the La. Insurance Code.

    We need judges to follow the law! How freaking hard is it to ask a federal judge to read what is put before him or her and apply La. substantive law? I had a federal judge flat out tell me after he ruled against me on the offset issue, “You may be right, but I didn’t read the brief.”

    We need more people with state court cases to push them, if no other reason than the legal issues.

  11. Half time report of hearing of the Oral Arguements of the Kodrin and Dickerson link to 5th circuit.

    From my perspective so far which has been influenced by this and Rossmillers post. It is a layman’s perspective purely. I very much liked the State Farm’s attorney’s ability to couch all his arguements of facts in the context of the law. He was able to bring his pleading back to specific legal arguements he made in the lower Court.

    He was able to argue both sides of the case in a manner which relied upon the facts as presented in the lower Court and demonstrate how the facts presented did not meet the burden of proof for the relevant rule of law which applied. I have no idea or opinion as to his assertions of how the codes and prior cases should be applied to the case because I don’t know the law. I just know he connected fact to law.
    _

    The Codrin’s attorney was able to connect the fact patterns for causation from the lower Court because as he asserted the Jury made that determination of fact. So he’s fairly safe there.

    His bad faith arguement was more along the lines of a conflict of interest. He really didn’t note how that conflict of interest violated the law. Or how a conflict was played out behaviorally by State Farm in a manner which violated the bad faith laws. What are the standards of the field. If you didn’t act like you should what was the standard of behavior?

    His reliance upon a State Farm’s adjuster’s testimony as to bad faith fell short when State Farm was able to give a plausable explanation of how the statement was not bad faith but a lack of understanding on the part of the Kobrins. Without a way to determine what the standards of the field were it was hard for the Court to rule someone violated them?

    To me Leonard had a similiar issue— when the person who sold the family their wind policy did not sell them a NFIP flood policy IE their agent was accused of not doing his job properly. Evidence was introduced about how the man made alot more money on wind policies and didn’t find the flood policy profitable enough to push on his clients.

    Yet there was no evidence of what his job as an agent was. His duty as a agent could have been introduced either by expert testimony or by internal guidelines from NFIP and/or the insurance company. No such evidence was introduced which put a real burden on the Judge to find in favor of the Leonards.
    ____

    I think Kobrin prepared for the jury trial to win but State Farm prepared for appeal better. Just my take so far. I do hear the next case starting… Lexington Insurance…

    I might be off the mark on these hearings but that is what I think from an uneducated layman’s perspective who has limited information about the cases.

  12. The second case is easier. The Dickinson’s attorney basically grabbed Lexington by the balls when they were so late in paying the claim.

    _____

    As for a unified wind/water policy. That is the first time I had considered that state rights might be stronger than what the fed’s might provide. I do admit I admire the strong laws of Louisana as it relates to insurance. But I don’t think we have the same laws in Mississippi.

    It might help you to know I live in Mississippi where the top Republican for our State Senate sits on the insurance committee of the Senate like a bulldog protecting the insurance industry.

    This is the same Senator who had a strong objection to making insurance companies pay valid claims within a certain time frame like in the Dickinson case. He argued the industry had such a good record of paying claims it was not necessary. As the top dog in the Senate he won the argument. Infact he has won every argument in the Senate when it comes to consumer friendly laws for insurance homeowners on the Coast. He should be a shoe in for insurance legislator of the year by a State level Senator. The national award of course going to Senator Dodd.

    I knew we had problems when he started quoting the III on how great the industry has processed claims after Katrina but what can I do about it? Bend over is the first thought that came to mind. The fact the insurance committee was meeting in the former Supreme Courtroom for Mississippi made the whole meeting even more nauseous for me. I made the determination then that justice would not be found in a Courtroom as the rules were already being crafted by the insurance industry itself in the very room where justice was once served. I had hoped the fed’s would treat me different.

    We also don’t have a private insurance market for Coastal homeowners in Mississippi which makes me a little leary of relying on the private sector for such services. If the private sector still wants to write their wind policies which remove wind coverage when you need it, I doubt the federal program would outlaw it. But I don’t know of any consumers in Mississippi who would go that route if the cost were the same.

    I would be interested to know what rights I would have under a federal program. It is a very good point and one which this insurance abused South Mississippian had never really considered. I will add that I think our Federal Judges over here do a fine job.

  13. I hear Buck had a great time at the State Farm legislative reception which was held the day before the meeting you describe Steve.

    People say all sorts of things for $$$$$$$$.

    And as the post said the difference was striking.

    sop

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