Speaking on behalf of a blog that cut its teeth on the very issues of offshore reinsurance and insurance finance we could not be more proud to not only have been a cumulative part of the conversation but also able to call Paige St John a true friend to the Slabbed Nation in every sense of the word. Now we know why everyone was interested in our post on Paige’s work, which otherwise flew under the radar but has also influenced an entire community of professional journalists. The long and short of it folks is that insurance finance and following the money to Bermuda is no longer the journalistic back water former National Underwriter Editor in Chief Sam Friedman once knew. For our part we’ve been featuring Paige and her work since the earliest days of Slabbed.
Paige is part of a select group of reporters that have been wise enough to use this blog and the expertise of an entire community of knowledgable insiders like Mr CLS on Yahoo Allstate to advance society’s knowledge for a greater good. I speak for all of us in this community of bloggers in saying CONGRATULATIONS PAIGE ~ YOU GO GIRL!!
Here is an excerpt from the Sarasota Herald Tribune:
Herald-Tribune reporter Paige St. John won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism for her series on Florida’s insurance industry.
The prize announced Monday is considered the highest mark of excellence in U.S. journalism.
In a two-year investigation, St. John examined the arcane property insurance system and created a unique database that assessed insurer reliability.
“While hurricanes may have gotten more dangerous, the reason we are paying more is we have a whole new system driving the insurance market,” said Chris Davis, St. John’s editor on the series and the newspaper’s assistant managing editor metro. “Insurance industry funding has become much more speculative in past decades — you have this whole house of cards, where no one knows exactly who owns what piece of the pie when a disaster happens.”
It is the Herald-Tribune’s first Pulitzer, but the third time in four years it has had a finalist for the prize.
Insurance reporting and blogging isn’t easy folks:
St. John faced major roadblocks to getting the story. Reinsurance companies refused interview requests. State regulators forbade staff employees from speaking and initially denied, then delayed requests for public records crucial to creating the newspaper’s first-of-its kind analysis of what really had happened to the Florida insurance market.
St. John cultivated anonymous sources deep within the industry, persisted in her demands for public records, and traveled to Bermuda and Monte Carlo, both beehives for offshore financial dealings.
She found that hundreds of thousands of Floridians are insured by carriers so financially weak that they could barely cover a house fire, let alone a hurricane.
Billions of dollars have been shipped offshore to unregulated financial markets that manipulate Florida’s property insurance crisis for their own gain.
This is a very happy day for the Slabbed Nation.