Yesterday Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney was on cloud 9 floating over lala land as exhibited by his WLOX interview which covered the subjects of mitigation grants and Safeco. From the interview it is clear he is sticking to his meme that he can foster competition in a small market in an industry with an anti trust exemption (the kool-aid the state republican leadership drinks must be powerful stuff). Our long time readers will no doubt remember Mr Chaney as the man whose State Farm Market Conduct examiner found massive evidence of wind claims dumping and bad faith claims practices in the sample results while Mr Chaney ignored all that and attacked the two courageous women that exposed the practices (The analysis of the MID Market Conduct study by retired World Bank analyst turned law student James Barbieri is found beginning on page 10 of his thesis). Long suffering coast residents are not buying in as evidenced by the comments to Anita Lee’s coverage of Mr Chaney’s announcement and it is there we begin:
Safeco Insurance plans to offer wind coverage again, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said Monday morning.
The company will offer 500 to 1,000 homeowner policies with wind coverage, he said, beginning in mid-March.
“They’re going to be selective about who they write, but I’m assuming as long as there’s not a credit risk involved, they’re not going to have any real restrictions,” Chaney said. Some companies have restricted wind coverage to the northern three Coast counties, but stopped offering it to new customers or nonrenewed policyholders who live near shore.
In doing some basic googling I found where the insurance bastards at Liberty Mutual bought Safeco in 2008. As a Liberty Mutual insured found out the hard way after Katrina’s winds severely damaged his house those thugs will have you arrested for simply filing a claim! Here at Slabbed we do not view Liberty Mutual aka Safeco’s arrival with near the glee Mr Chaney did but the sure-to-happen litigation will certainly make the local bar very happy.
Republic is an interesting carrier. Its corporate parent is American Financial Group which conducts business under the trade name Great American Insurance Company. Republic’s corporate parent sports a BBB credit rating and ranks at number 19 on the FBIC bad faith insurer list. What I found interesting it is run by Carl Lindner’s son. I remember Mr Lindner’s name from my time swing trading Chiquita as the man that sanctioned crop dusting Chiquita’s Central American fields hands in the name of productivity and paying off the FARC (Columbian Narco Terrorists) along with price fixing and a laundry list of other unsavory business practices. If all these activities make the Lindners sound like a respectable version of the mafia I would have a hard time disputing that assertion. I wonder how many people would buy their insurance from the black hand? Against that backdrop there is little wonder Republic sits on the FBIC list of bad faith insurers.
I can not recommend either carrier to the Slab Nation despite the enthusiasm of our ideologically handicapped Commish Mike Chaney.
Since the mitigation program has not been announced we’ll save that for when Boss Hogg and Mr Chaney come back down to announce the program.