Paige St. John and the Herald-Tribune nail the insurance industry!

"How State Farm cashed in on a crisis" Herald-Tribune

For five years, Floridians have struggled to fix the state’s property insurance system, ricocheting between attempts to appease the industry and punish it. They’ve seen premiums rise as much as 350 percent on the coast and witnessed the cancellation of 2 million policies. Thousands of homeowners now can only find insurance from a state pool that many believe could not pay its bills after a major hurricane.

Despite no hurricanes in five years, Florida insurers are demanding yet more money from homeowners. At the same time, the capital that insurers have on hand to pay claims has shrunk.

Investigative reporter Paige St. John took the lead as “the Herald-Tribune spent more than a year examining the Florida insurance market in an attempt to find out why”. The resulting stories and interactive applications are a must read.

The interactive application (below the jump) will make the time pass quickly on this cold and dreary Sunday. Continue reading “Paige St. John and the Herald-Tribune nail the insurance industry!”

What a “good neighbor” – State Farm sticks another knife in coastal economy!

Rebecca Mowbray reports State Farm will raise rates for mom-and-pop landlords, drop their wind coverage in today’s Times Picayune:

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., the state’s largest residential insurer, is asking for an average 9.9 percent rate increase for homeowners coverage in Louisiana.

The filing with the Department of Insurance comes just over a month after Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon rejected the company’s request for an average 19.1 percent rate hike. Donelon called that proposal unreasonable and unjustified.

State Farm received an average 8.3 percent increase last year in Louisiana after asking for 13.7 percent.

Although the average rate hike would be 9.9 percent, hurricane-vulnerable coastal areas would bear the brunt. The New Orleans region would see a 17.7 percent increase while rates in the Lake Charles region would go up 22.5 percent, said State Farm spokeswoman Brooke Cluse…

Cluse said the proposed rates are based on future loss projections and not past claims experience. She said that although State Farm believed its earlier rate increase request was justified, the company was trying to work with regulators to “move closer to adequate rates.”

What a game! Just how many coastal policyholder contracts for coverage did State Farm honor following Hurricane Katrina? Very few, according to the evidence of the multi-state scheme provided in the Rigsby qui tam complaint. What a waste of public resources to put an agency through the process of reviewing an inflated request just to make one “closer to adequate” appear a better deal! Continue reading “What a “good neighbor” – State Farm sticks another knife in coastal economy!”

It’s a Boss Hogg Sunday! Jarvis DeBerry chips in on Haley’s foggy memories of the 1960s.

How telling that Mississippians would have to leave the state to find a newspaper pundit that is not high on the fumes from Boss Hogg’s rear end to accurately tell the story of Boss Hogg’s recent attempt to revise Mississippi’s sad civil rights history. Jarvis DeBerry is the man and once again he sets the record (and poor ol’ Sid Salter) straight as only Jarvis can, citing facts instead of political talking points. (Hat Tip the Opinionated Catholic via Twitter)


The Slabbed Disenfranchised Zombie….

Dambala, Drake and I had a mini blogapalozza last night at one of the finer local watering holes in the city and we literally spend hours visiting and swapping war stories.  After hearing about this past Rising Tide I am truly sorry I did not attend as the Stephanie Grace panel discussion on how journalists (but not bloggers) are uniquely equipped to eat breakfast most everyday with someone like Tim Coulon and not get mookie stinked was supposedly the bomb, especially after an audience member pointed out Steph’s brown mustache.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of NOLA style journalism folks.