Jim Brown’s Weekly Column: How bad can Louisiana’s Insurance Climate Get?

August 23nd, 2013
New York, New York


In the movie Guys and Dolls, gambler Nathan Detroit (played by Frank Sinatra) says: “How can it get any worse. What more can you do to me?” That’s what thousands of Louisiana property owners are saying about the state’s insurance climate for insuring their homes and businesses. The cost of property insurance is skyrocketing and rates have become unaffordable. And if a property owner is able to scrape up the spiraling yearly premiums, their claims are often not being paid. People are moving out of Louisiana and fewer potential home and business owners are moving in. Outrageous insurance costs are one of the major reasons that growth is at a standstill.

I wrote about how projections of increasing premiums could, in some parts of the state, exceed 1000% in this column last week. The national flood insurance program was re-authorized last year by congress and was given the authority to reduce subsidies to coastal states like Louisiana. Apparently, coastal state members of congress failed to read the legislation, voted for it, and are now hollering for delays.

But that’s just one part of the problem. Louisiana has the dubious distinction, year after year, of having the highest property insurance rates in the country. Homeowners in the state pay an average of more than $1600.00 to insure a home, with much steeper rates throughout south Louisiana. And the bugaboo that has caused so much damage to the state’s insurance climate is Citizens Property Insurance Company. A Baton Rouge Business Report front-page headline called Citizens the “worst financial disaster in the last 100 years.” Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy has echoed that view repeatedly and has called on the legislature to abolish it.

The contrarian view was recently offered by Insurance Department officials who, in a letter to the legislature, called the company “a model on the national stage.” And they are right if you are searching for an example of dysfunction and incompetence. Respected columnist James Gill, who has written for the state’s largest two newspapers, concluded, “the entire citizens insurance set up is straight out of Alice in Wonderland,” and warned property owners to “brace ourselves for disaster.” Gill also pointed out that Citizens will pay out well over $100 million for delays in paying claims, and concluded that the Citizens board “seems determined to make plaintiff lawyers as rich as possible.” Understandably, the Insurance Department did not share Gill’s opinion with Louisiana lawmakers. Continue Reading…….

Like I said, enlarged libidos

It goes without saying the post I did unmasking a local early Sunday morning radio show host that no one had heard of as the party girl in the sordid tale of the convoluted cab ride has been a smash hit. I want to make certain everyone understands I am not a lawyer but in the course of doing Slabbed and knowing a few through time my non scientific observations has been:

the legal profession contains a high concentration of folks with enlarged libidos.

I want to make sure everyone understand there is nothing wrong with that and such is not a trait exclusive to the legal profession as Miss Kay over on Duck Dynasty will attest. Plus it insures we reproduce as a species. In any event Elie Mystal over at Above the Law had a different take on the Jenn in the Sunday Mornings saga but before we get to that we have more of that legendary lawyerly libido on display:

I myself have a bit of minor notoriety, and I also like alcohol. I’ve woken up with no shoes, no pants, and no memory of how I got home

Indeed most have worn the lampshade at one time or another but this case is not about date rape at all. In fact I hear the cabbie has his own version of events and a video to back up some of his claims. That appears to be lost in the zeal to try and convict the Cabbie in the media solely from the word of an “anonymous” accuser that by her own admission was sloppy drunk and evidently looking for some action with a stranger on the way home after a hard night of drinking.

Sorry folks, color me a skeptic but I do not buy into holding Cab Drivers to a higher standard than that of the legal profession. And thanks to a confluence of media outlets confusing a sloppy drunk looking for some action with a cab driver with a sex crime and extortion, site traffic here is likely to remain greatly elevated. :mrgreen:

Veneris Muck Omnibus

DMR needs to recoup those misspent millions ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

Next up is Harry Morel and a story first seen on Slabbed way far back. Ms Keim died awfully young.

In 911 call, St. Charles woman alleged then-DA Harry Morel sexually abused her, police confirm ~ Juliet Linderman

St. Charles Parish may well be the muckiest of all the excellent muck raking locales in the greater Soggy Bottom metropolitan area.

And then the Wino came to life after yesterday’s Girod Jackson post.  Anyone that followed the links to Slabbed’s prior coverage understands that for Jackson to be indicted alone via Bill of Information makes no sense unless he is giving up other people.  Jackson’s associates include: Continue reading “Veneris Muck Omnibus”