Folks rarely does a business writer nail and explain a very complex subject in the interplay between our fragmented insurance markets here in the US and the world of high finance but Paige St John over at the Herald Tribune explains how State Farm really didn’t pull out of Florida’s hurricane insurance market, how they game the anti trust exemption insurers enjoy and how they are able to price gouge as a result. These same forces are at work in Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.
We last featured Paige’s work last October in our post It’s a ‘Bermudan’ day in the neightborhood…Paige St John at the Herald Tribune exposes why ‘buying Bermuda’ is like being hooked on crack and it is clear Paige is on track for a big time business journalism award for her work in this area. Finally it was our post on Paige’s reporting on the Allstate McKinsey papers that literally landed us on the national blawg scene as Victoria Pynchon covered our coverage.
Here are a few excerpts:
When State Farm stepped up its march out of Florida, it loudly and publicly claimed hurricanes were pushing it toward financial disaster.
The company argued it had to leave the Florida coast — and drop nearly half a million customers — because it could not profit in a state wracked by so many storms.
But State Farm never really left Florida. Continue reading “Market manipulation and price fixing explained to the point even a clown can understand. Paige St John exposes the State Farm shuffle in Florida for the Herald Tribune.”