Lafayette Advertiser took “Hard look at insurance” without hard look at facts – editorial is truly sad

On top of the misleading headline in the Shreveport Times, the Lafayette Advertiser has taken a “Hard look at insurance” without a hard look at facts.  Obviously, insurance legislation introduced in this session of the Louisiana Legislature is tort reform in disguise.

The upcoming Louisiana legislative session is a general-purpose one, not restricted to taxes and other fiscal matters. So, typically, the Legislature will take on every topic imaginable.

We’re glad one of those topics is insurance, the subject for an upcoming series of hearings by a joint legislative committee. Something is clearly wrong with our system, especially where homeowners insurance is concerned. The best look would come from the broadest field of view — the kind you get without ideological blinders.

From this lofty perch, the Advertiser’s Editorial (con)descends to reach a conclusion that defies both logic and fact – and, as if the combination of logically fallacies and an out-and-out lie were not sufficient cause for outrage, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put:

We hope the committee will look for solutions everywhere logic might lead, from more and more effective regulation — preferably in concert with other Gulf Coast states — to tort reform, which seems to have had a calming effect on rates in Mississippi ($802).

Without a stable, affordable homeowners insurance market, South Louisiana has no future worth hoping for.

SLABBED published Go figure! Mississippi has nation’s seventh-most-expensive homeowners insurance… on the 4th of January and the accompanying table showed the average premium in Mississippi was $1019, not $802 as the Advertiser claimed?  Louisiana, for the record, was listed third with an average premium of $1400 – at least a $100 less than the “more than $1500” cited in the Advertiser’s editorial.  The average premium in Texas, again for the record, was not the $902 reported in the Advertiser but $1442, the second highest in the nation.

Why the difference?

SLABBED reported the newly released data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and cited a related Rebecca Mowbray story in the Times Picayune, Louisiana homeowners insurance is nation’s third-most-expensive, study says.

The Advertiser, on the other hand, obtained data elsewhere: “Sadly, the homeinsurance.com industry Web site says Louisiana homeowner premiums actually jumped 9.3 percent to more than $1,500.”  A look at the website indicates just how “sad”:

In what can only be called an amazing act of hubris, the Advertiser uses data from this website while claiming” the best look” at what is wrong with the system of homeowners insurance  “would come from the broadest field of view — the kind you get without ideological blinders”.

If readers trust The Advertiser to provide reliable data, the only thing correct in this editorial is “South Louisiana has no future worth hoping for” – and that is truly sad.

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