Monday Altered Engineering Report Three Pack: Significant layoffs at Gerald Nielsen’s shop

Slabbed had an inkling things were shaking back last August and by November United States Magistrate Gary Brown joined the Super Storm Sandy party. Then on February 27th, 60 minutes blew the doors off the bad faith claims handling by the NFIP by highlighting all the changed and back-filled engineering reports. If all this sounds vaguely familiar to those of you that regularly read Slabbed it should as the only difference is the angle on the same scam.

About the time that 60 minutes report ran Slabbed began receiving reports of layoffs at Nielsen, Carter and Treas as our own Magnum looks to be the one staggering out of the ring victorious in this legal slug fest. If the courts in the northeast re-visit the issue of Plaintiff’s attorney fees then the victory becomes complete.

Make no mistake folks, the battle ground is in the northeast but this is a good ol’ fashioned Louisiana blood feud.  I’ll continue to follow this story, updating as time allows.

Anyone seen Rossie lately?

Welp, I see Tom Wilson is still in charge at Allstate…….

Folks, it’s not that Wilson and his cronies in Northbrook are assholes that is the problem here.

Staten Island family says Allstate Insurance hasn’t paid out after Sandy, but used images of their flattened home in a commercial ~ Victoria Cavaliere New York Daily News

The problem is they’re God-damned assholes.

The Louisiana DOI has sent Slabbed the following press release.

What can I say folks except it looks like Jimbo the Clown is hipping up to blogging or in this case Vlogging. So without further adieu Jimbo has the following response to 2 news stories today involving the Louisiana Department of Insurance which can be found here and here.


Mike Chaney in command: Allstate to raise rates another 20%.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

The can’t shoot straight gang in Northbrook must be planning their year-end bonuses with extra diligence this year folks as insurance rates are going up again in a state with some of the very highest homeowners insurance premiums in the country. Either that or another ill-advised share buyback is in the offing as the money pit better known as Allstate is hungry for more of your hard-earned money and unfortunately the people of Mississippi elected an insurance lackey as their commish almost 4 years ago so the only open question was how much more price gouging Chaney was going to allow. Continue reading “Mike Chaney in command: Allstate to raise rates another 20%.”

Efficient, well timed and executed: The power of the written word. (Alternate title: Allstate – Clueless at the top)

Here is the deal folks. The social media is getting credit for bringing down middle eastern despots in nation after nation yet here in the US old line PR guys and clueless insurance companies just don’t get it.

Richard Marsh had been challenged to shoot a puck through a tiny hole in a cardboard cut-out over the goal at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Before attempting the shot Mr Marsh decided to donate the potential winnings to St. Vincent’s Cardiovascular and the American Heart Association.

Mr Marsh then stepped up and fired his effort the length of the ice, through the bottom of the cardboard cut-out and into the net.

However, his success was later ruled to be void because he was standing in front of the designated starting line.

The money would have been donated by insurance company Allstate as part of a special “Hockey for Heart” night sponsored by St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana, and hosted by the USHL’s Indiana Ice.

But the USHL stated that due to Mr Marsh’s starting position, the company voided the award due to him “standing in the wrong place”.

Later, the Indiana Ice owners, Paul and Cindy Skjodt, made an undisclosed donation to the charities in recognition of Mr Marsh’s accomplishment.


This made the Huff Po which ran a story and a correction which did clarify the reason Allstate didn’t pay was the shooter was DQ’d by the USHL for being “over the line.” Continue reading “Efficient, well timed and executed: The power of the written word. (Alternate title: Allstate – Clueless at the top)”

The Wilson effect: Sure signs the market is becoming concerned about Allstate’s long term solvency

If you’re insured with Allstate or are thinking about insuring with them this post is for you as I’ve had Allstate and its incompetent CEO Tom Wilson on my mind for the past week or so.  Now that I have a few good links, allow me to share some of the indicators I look at on individual stocks when performing DD (due diligence). Speaking of DD, it is an ongoing process that never ends which is one of the reasons I think most folks are far better off in no load mutual funds (offered by low-cost producers like Vanguard).

We last visited with Allstate last Thursday after they whiffed on their Q4 earnings.  Mr Wilson has a curious business strategy for an insurance company in withdrawing Allstate from taking HO (homeowners insurance ) risks in coastal America, where roughly half the nation’s population lives.  That is not unusual as many of the insurance companies are doing like wise but unlike State Farm, which bought into the Bermudian reinsurance market to capitalize on the shortage of coverage they helped create, Allstate has pursued a different strategy of using non admitted carriers to insure the void, at so-called market rates as non admitted carriers do not have rate regulation.

The rationale for using non admitted carriers is simple.  Consumers typically bundle their HO coverage with their auto policy and insurance companies make a mint selling auto insurance.  Withdrawing from the coast has its draw backs and the loss of the auto policies with the homeowners is a real downside to the industry’s current price-fixing scheme for wind insurance. Continue reading “The Wilson effect: Sure signs the market is becoming concerned about Allstate’s long term solvency”

In other news Allstate is getting hammered today…..

If there is one thing everyone agrees upon and I mean literally from Slabber to Allstate insider is that Tom Wilson really bites as CEO. Allstate once again misses on earnings and if memory serves we’re getting up on double digits for the number of consecutive misses.  Only that fat ass hogger Fernando Aguirre at Chiquita comes close when it comes to sheer incompetence.

Don’t take my word for it just check out two different threads on the Yahoo Allstate Finance Board here and here.

Who is measuring your performance Tom?

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What a train wreck!


Head-scratching news you can use

First up, the Clarion Ledger reports Funding for Coast hurricane evacuation highway lacking:

A proposal to build a hurricane evacuation highway on the Mississippi Coast has been shelved because of a lack of funding, a transportation official says.

Next, two hurricane-related insurance articles from the Sun Herald starting with USAA says company still writing policies on Coast – “But riskiest customers being dropped”:

Some USAA policyholders are under the impression that the insurance company is no longer offering wind coverage in the three Coast counties, but a company spokesman said Friday that is not true…

The company also is retaining wind coverage already included in 1,200 existing policies in the six South Mississippi counties. Berry was unable to say Friday how many of those policies are in the three Coast counties…Chaney said MID has no authority to prohibit insurance companies from establishing coverage boundaries. Other major carriers have withdrawn coverage from waterfront areas, forcing policyholders into the state wind pool, insurer of last resort for South Mississippians.

Last, but certainly no less newsworthy, 3 Coast insurance bills alive at Capitol:

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, insurers’ denials of storm-damage claims, rising premiums and insurance companies pulling out of South Mississippi made news. Since then, Coast lawmakers have been pushing for a number of changes to Mississippi insurance law.

Coast-backed insurance measures have often died in the Senate Insurance Committee…Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis…said…“It appears that no insurance reforms will be given consideration under our current Senate Insurance Committee chairman.”

Now, summarizing the news you can use: (1) the state has no money for an alternate evacuation route; (2) a private insurer can cheery pick coverage areas and drop its high-risk policies on the state’s tab because MID lacks the authority to establish coverage boundaries but has money to pay the tab; and (3) the Legislature isn’t going to pass regulations to reduce the tab and apply the savings to funding a more efficient evacuation route.

If that doesn’t make you scratch your head, the Sun Herald story lists and links the three bills still alive: Continue reading “Head-scratching news you can use”

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.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon

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.”

And the Wall Street Journal put two reporters on the story and still managed to butcher it. An Allstate Hurricane Katrina Fraud Update.

I recently met with a group of political strategists that noticed our little blog in Soggy Bottom and the information exchange was very enlightening for me.  I’m as interested in the mechanics of the story as the story itself and the tales I was told of how these folks manipulated the traditional media were very interesting.  More than any other skill set these folks had a keen understanding of human behavior which is a shared passion with us at Slabbed.

The garden variety bashing I sometime engage in to drive traffic sometimes obscures the fact Slabbed is in reality a quest for knowledge as in getting all the facts that surrounded the blanket denials of insurance coverage  after Katrina no matter where those facts may lead.  This may sound elementary, indeed even simplistic, but I’d submit we stand in stark contrast to our own insurance regulators that ignored all the evidence of fraud on part of their corporate benefactors from the insurance industry after Katrina, Mike Chaney even going so far as to attack the Rigsby sisters, who exposed the fraud perpetrated by State Farm on the US Treasury here in Mississippi.  This frankly came as no surprise to me, especially after it came out that the lawyer who ran the market conduct study for Mr Chaney left the Mississippi Department of Insurance for State Farm’s Jackson based law firm.

Insurance companies have lots of money to throw around and spend vast sums of money on shills, propagandists and their own in-house PR departments. These folks are mostly rent an opinion hookers that dispense half-truths in furtherance of their own paychecks.  Armed with lots of factoids and ready made quotes, deadline pressed journalists flock to them in droves, often uncritically lapping up the intellectually dishonest drivel folks like the III’s Robert Hartwig, who this past summer passed off a bogus poll about the NFIP to the media.  To her credit, Becky Mowbray over at the T-P busted Hartwig and frankly I was amused at Mike Chaney’s blatant duplicity in the Sun Herald’s reporting on the same topic.  I guess Chaney tells so many whoppers he can’t keep them all straight but that is another post.

I mention all this because Ashby Jones and Joanne Lublin recently wrote a story for the Wall Street Journal on the topic of corporate whistleblowers and the new financial re-regulation legislation which is so full of self-serving corporate PR spin these two journalists should be ashamed, Continue reading “And the Wall Street Journal put two reporters on the story and still managed to butcher it. An Allstate Hurricane Katrina Fraud Update.”