Jeff Amy covered both bases with similar stories in both the Pascagoula and Mobile editions of the Press Register. Alabama homeowners, according to Army’s story, have gone from paying 10 percent less than the national average in 2002 to 10 percent more in 2007.
“Satisfied is probably not the right word, but we’re comfortable with where we are compared to the other coastal states,” said Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling.
Of course he’s comfortable, look at what happened to the homeowners next door in Mississippi – the State went from paying 13 percent more than the national average in 2002 to paying 24 percent more in 2007.
Mississippi’s not so comfortable Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney told Amy “Rates are going to continue to go up in Mississippi.”
Mississippi ranked seventh. Expanding the NAIC data with median family income during the reporting period shows Mississippi and Louisiana in last and next-to-last place on a ranked listing of states when state median household income is considered.
He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe everyday doesn’t have to be Christmas for insurers who want higher rates for the shore. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means zones are no more!
They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming! They’re just waking up, I know just what they’ll do. Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry, “Boo Hoo.”
We weren’t disappointed in Mr Chaney’s latest one bit here at Slabbed mainly because we knew what our favorite captured insurance regulator would be doing with this latest Farm rate up. The comments in yesterday’s story and today’s Op-Ed about Mr Chaney being a puppet for big insurance pretty much sums up local popular opinion:
You tell your boss you want a 45 percent raise, but you are unwilling to do any extra work to get it. Your boss, fearing the loss of your services, manages to scrape up enough money to offer you a 19.5 percent pay increase and begs you to stay. You take the 19.5, but you make it clear that you are “disappointed” and will do less work.
Not if you are an insurance company doing business in Mississippi.
Beginning in mid-February, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. has Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s permission to raise homeowner insurance rates 19.5 percent in the three Coast counties. State Farm had asked for a 45 percent rate increase and said it was “disappointed” not to get it.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney approved the rate increase, rejecting State Farm’s request for a 45 percent rate hike along the Coast. New rates will apply only for current policyholders because State Farm is writing no new business in the three Coast counties…The Mississippi Insurance Department has asked for additional information from Allstate in reviewing the rate proposal. Chaney’s office did the same with State Farm before agreeing to the lower increase.
The study is expected to have many benefits. For one, it would give leaders a clear cost-to-benefit analysis. As important, the wind mitigation study would allow for systematic improvements in the hurricane resistance of buildings in the six counties on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Stone, Pearl River and George) by utilizing wind-resistant construction techniques to reduce property damage and/or loss.
This would result in a significant reduction in insurance premiums, as well as reduce the negative economic impact of a hurricane on the entire state and its citizens, the MID said.
In the coming months, hundreds of thousands of Florida homeowners will see insurance bills increase. And many others will open their mailboxes and get the insurance industry’s version of the pink slip, forcing them to buy coverage from the state or turn to companies they might never have heard of. Continue reading “Low tide, rising rates sink all ships”
Long Beach resident Kevin Buckel and United Policyholders executive director Amy Bach to be specific. Kevin’s website details his thus far fruitless pursuit of a statutory Policyholder Bill of Rights for Mississippians. It has been blocked in committee in the Senate by Sen. Eugene “Buck” Clarke, a GOP free market true believer over at the Big Rock Candy Mountain in Jackson.
We’ve also chronicaled Mr Buckel’s efforts at fostering transparency at the Mississippi Department of Insurance as he has taken our current Commish to court after the claims files used in the sham Market Conduct Study began under Mr Chaney’s predecessor turned insurance lobbyist George Dale as overseen by former Deputy Commish Lee Harrell who now works for State Farm law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz. Mr Chaney has thus far successfully stonewalled those efforts. Anita Lee picks up more recent events here:
A Coast policyholder is appealing to the state Supreme Court for access to Mississippi Insurance Department records that would show the dollar amount of Katrina claims denied by insurance companies.
Long Beach policyholder Kevin Buckel filed a written request in January 2009 for records showing the total amount of damages homeowners claimed, the total amount paid and the total amount denied by private property insurance companies. MID maintains the agency does not have the records.
We’ll talk State Farm in a minute. It’s a small pleasure to me that readers of Slabbed can tell you in a single sentence why we’re being devoured by insurance companies – they operate regional monopolies, and keep them going by purchasing judges, legislative bodies, and regulators who could take away the anti-trust exemptions. Coached by people like McKinsey & Co., we know how big insurers follow a scripted Machiavellian model:
risk transference is sales pretext only;
the objective is profits;
claims threaten profits;
policyholder dollars go to defeat, not pay claims;
↑ premiums + ↓ scope of coverage = ↑ profits.
America is being eaten from within. Wall Street pigged-out and bankrupted our treasury. Health insurance pigged-out and drove consumers to go uninsured and file bankruptcy in record numbers (62% of all). Banks pigged-out and destroyed home values and credit markets, and auto makers cowboyed a world class manufacturing business into oblivion. On the legal side, so-called “pro business” types – mere bribe payers to me – replaced the jury system with forced arbitration, repealed punitive damage law and bought off the appeals courts. If our Constitution was a car note, I’d say we’re “upside down.”
This little piggy went to market mediation,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef got taken
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went “Wee wee wee” all the way home.
Evidence was produced showing State Farm staged the mediations in advance and actively concealed material evidence from homeowners during the “mediation” process.
Q. Do you recall being involved…in putting on mock mediation?
A. We did put on mock mediation, that is correct.
Q. Do you remember you doing anything related to that?
Q. What part did you play?
A. …Oh, okay. Yes. When we started mediation, they — they asked that — I guess because I had done mediation in Florida, they asked that Cori and I role play mediation for the entire mediation team. Continue reading “this little piggy went to mediation…and this little piggy”