SLABBED Daily – June 11

It’s taken this long to come up with “news lite” but that’s all I’ve wanted to read and there’s precious little of it.

Nonetheless, I’m taking a pass on SarahPalin’s toenails.

Likewise on the story that Cher’s daughter is soon to become her son.

Same goes for the NCAA sanctions on Alabama – well, maybe not –  but you’ll have to figure out just how much suffering goes into having wins from the past turned to losses no one will remember.  Not exactly the same as losing scholarships or the opportunity to play in post season games.

The idea of people actively discussing a new type of cloud didn’t really interest me – I but if it floats your boat, give it a try.

The only really pleasant story is this one about Obama writing an excuse for 10-year-old  who stayed out of school to hear the President speak.

“Do you need me to write a note?” Obama asked. The crowd laughed, but the president was serious.

On a piece of paper, he wrote: “To Kennedy’s teacher: Please excuse Kennedy’s absence. She’s with me. Barack Obama.” He stepped off the stage to hand-deliver the note _ to Kennedy’s surprise.

Surely, tomorrow will be a better news day – but, if not, TGIF!

Gene Taylor Comments on Corban and Claims Dumping

Congressman Gene Taylor
U.S. House of Representatives
Fourth District of Mississippi

2269 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5772
Fax (202) 225-7074

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ana Maria Rosato
(202) 253-1308

June 10, 2009

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.): Insurance Company USAA
publicly admits shifting costs to NFIP, taxpayers
Pass my Multiple Peril Insurance Act to protect
coastal homeowners and America’s taxpayers

In oral arguments before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday, insurance company USAA admitted that it shifted its own costs to the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In the first wind vs. water case to reach Mississippi’s state’s high court, the lower court asked the high court to interpret the “anti-concurrent causation” clause that is often buried inside homeowner contracts. The lower state court requested the high court interpret the burden of proof before the case is heard on the facts.

At issue is whether the insurance company bears the burden of proof to determine the extent of property damage caused by wind or whether the company can void a homeowner’s wind coverage simply because water came on the property at some point. USAA asked the court not to require the company to pay any wind damage based on the fact that the property also incurred some water damage. The Gulf Coast suffered up to four hours of damage from hurricane force winds before any flooding began.

“Asking the court to sanctify the company’s decision not to live up to its fiduciary responsibility to the federal taxpayers and homeowners is outrageous,” responded Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.). “I vigorously renew my call for the U.S. Senate to follow the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives and pass my Multiple Peril Insurance Act. This act eliminates all opportunities for insurance companies to continue to betray Coastal American homeowners and taxpayers.”

NFIP is financed through homeowner policyholder premiums, which are subsidized with federal tax dollars. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the NFIP ran a $17.5 billion deficit while the Property & Casualty Industry boasted $108 billion in profits in 2005 and 2006. To date, Congress has yet to determine the extent to which the NFIP’s billion dollar deficit may have come from fraudulent claims that the insurance companies deliberately submitted.

“What we learned from Katrina is that insurance companies have an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to adjusting flood claims on properties that also sustained wind damage. Over and over and over again what we learned after Katrina,” Taylor continued “is that companies like State Farm and Nationwide put out memos directing staff to resolve this conflict of interest in the company’s favor and to the detriment America’s homeowners and taxpayers. USAA’s court admission confirms this as well.” Continue reading “Gene Taylor Comments on Corban and Claims Dumping”

Jim Brown Compares Insurance Initiatives in the South

Thursday June 11, 2009

New Orleans, Louisiana



A dangerous hurricane season this year? Forecasters are predicting nine to 14 named tropical storms with four to seven of them expected to be hurricanes. And three could be major. Or as Dirty Harry would say: 44 Magnum hurricanes, the most powerful hurricanes in the world. So what is the Louisiana Legislature doing to give homeowners protection and relief? Nothing. It’s every homeowner for themselves. So the only question you can ask is, do you feel lucky?

Thought out the gulf south, other states are scurrying to develop legislative strategies to hold the line on rising property insurance costs. In South Carolina, a number of new initiatives passed the legislature including the establishment of catastrophe savings accounts that are tax free, allowing new self-insured procedures for homeowners, and giving tax credits to those who make their homes more storm resistant. Georgia has beefed up its state property insurance association of last resort with the purchase of reinsurance to cover any major disaster.

Alabama is following the South Carolina model mandating companies to give cheaper premiums in exchange for structural improvements to homes. Mississippi is using federal funds to bolster their state run insurance company of last resort, so as to keep insurance rates down. Some $25 million in federal dollars were also obtained in initial funding for the state’s wind damage mitigation program. Homeowners can get up to 75% of the cost of such improvements, and once the work is done, a significant reduction in premium costs, as much as 50%, is the immediate result. Continue reading “Jim Brown Compares Insurance Initiatives in the South”