FEMA still bites as do the insurance companies that adjust NFIP claims that take 33 cents on the dollar of the premiums doing so.
Business Of Disaster: Insurance Firms Profited $400 Million After Sandy ~ Laura Sullivan
Or you can listen to the 20 minute plus segment from NPR’s All Things Considered embedded below.
Meantime here on the coast where the false claims act suit against State Farm over dumping its winds claims on the NFIP is raging on for the 10th year, Delay, Deny Defend is still the strategy du jour as this order from Magistrate Walker earlier this month illustrates.
Then again most everyone that lived the Hurricane Katrina experience already knew that but it is nice to have some affirmation:
Whistle blowers win appeal of State Farm wind vs. water case ~ Anita Lee
As I observed on Twitter, time for Ru$ty to part with $ome corporate ca$h. Hopefully it will be put to good use cutting that pesky NFIP deficit the insurers caused by their illicit post Katrina claims handling processes.
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?
And they still don’t get it completely but it appears the lightbulb is coming on very slowly:
Hurricane Sandy Victims Say Damage Reports Were Altered ~ David Chen
Of course the problem down here wasn’t that the National Flood Program was too generous to its policyholders, no siree. The NFIP was too generous to the WYO insurers that dumped their wind claims on the Flood Program.
The paid shills and hired guns, however, remain the same.
My personal recommendation to Chen would be to speak with some journalists that actually know the score such as Anita Lee, Dean Starkman, Jeff Amy and Paige St. John.
Meantime I’m still trying to drag Nowdy out of retirement.
Any U. S. Magistrate from South Texas to the Southern District of Alabama could have written this exact same Order and Opinion in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and then Ike but discovery abuses were tolerated in the Fifth Circuit by and large. Cases were kneecapped out of the gate on the theory that money cases should settle and in the process bad faith claims handling was institutionalized under the law. Magistrate Gary Brown from the Eastern District of New York took a look at the case from a different angle and he came to a far different conclusion. Here is the salient verbiage:
The context remains important: according to the City of Long Beach, the losses here totaled approximately $205,000, while the testimony at trial suggested that the insurer has already paid out about $80,000. Pl’s Ex. 1. Thus, based on these rough figures, the most that could be at issue here amounted to approximately $125,000 and, based on the coverage limits of $250,000, no more than about $170,000 could be at stake. To a government-backed insurer, these are trifling figures, and in the world of federal cases, such figures are unimpressive, particularly when compared to the exorbitant costs of litigation. On the other hand, to individual homeowners, these are staggeringly large sums.
Before I present the 27 page Judicial beatdown of the National Flood Insurance Program and it’s lawyers over at Gerald Nielsen’s law firm, I’ll opine that what we have here is the tail wagging the dog. Magnum and his people over at Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams certainly expended a fortune to uncover the unsavory claims practices including the bullshit revised engineering reports insurers relied upon to deny coverage after Superstorm Sandy (and here on the coast after Hurricane Katrina) and they deserve props for the time, money and effort. Click the pic to nab the 27 page pdf:
In Re Hurricane Sandy (Raimey) 14-mc-41 Doc 655
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.
There have a new wikileaks type website up and going called WikiClaimsLeaks and their first project is sorting thru over 18,000 pages of claims documents from State Farm. Unfortunately I fear Barack Obama’s head is inserted too far up Ed Rust’s hiney for him to meaningfully engage this issue but hope, like routine denial of otherwise valid claims springs eternal.
Pearl River Communicty College, well outside of the flood zone, took almost 5 years to collect from their bad faith insurer. They would represent the classic example of the type of enterprises that should have a representative in attendance. Hat tip to Rutgers Law Professor Jay Feinman, author of Delay Deny Defend and a friend to Slabbed. Wish we could be there Jay! ~ sop
NPR remembered Katrina plus 5 on weekend edition today (Hat Tip Editilla) in an 11 minutes segment. Those interested in listening or reading the report at NPR can click here. Here is a snippet:
“But we need people — need people coming back, coming home. That’s what is going to do it. That’s what’s going to pull us through. But — just like my parents — what’s preventing them from coming home is insurance.
“I’m sure people around the country think, ‘Why do those people live there? They’ve got oil spills. They’ve got hurricanes.’ But you just look over that water and there’s something that grounds you here. It’s beautiful and the people here are beautiful, and that’s why we stay.”
Mississippi State Sen. David Baria of Bay St. Louis has introduced insurance reform bills in the legislature for the past three years; he can’t get them through committee. Continue reading “National Public Radio remembers Bay St Louis on Katrina plus 5”
First the systemic:
Insurance companies basically sell security. A consumer is willing to pay insurance premiums in the expectation that if something bad happens—a house burns down, a car crashes—the company will pay for the loss that otherwise might financially ruin the consumer.
I had homeowners (wind/hail) through USAA, I also purchased my flood coverage through USAA. After Katrina I had a slab and pilings left. The National Flood Insurance policy paid off fairly quickly. Concerning my Wind/Hail coverage, USAA sent me a letter saying “Where there is no coverage, no payment can be made”. I decided to fight them. I attended the State Ins. Dept. sponsored arbitration, where USAA offered my about ten cents on the dollar. I signed an impasse statement and did not accept their offer. I hired my own experts (structure and weather) and kept the pressure on USAA. Approaching the 3 year anniversary of Katrina, USAA sent me a check for the full insured value of my home with no explanation. I lost the interest on the payment for three years
Now for the complete denial. This from team USAA last October: Continue reading “Systemic Denial: A Corban v USAA postscript”