Let’s talk multi peril insurance and NFIP reauthorization as Slabbed updates the Washington front

While the power to issue regulations is not the power to change the law, there are those who do have the power – but none have a magic wand. Change is never easy. It takes commitment and hard work. In that regard, few have the depth of commitment of Mississippi’s Congressman Gene Taylor and even fewer are willing to work as long or as hard has he has worked to bring about needed change in the National Flood Insurance Program.

On his way out the door this morning, Sop posted Congressman Taylor’s testimony before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity on Scribd’ and you’ll find it at the end of this post. He also tossed me the links to two stories – making this a Sop and Nowdy tag-team post. First up, Flood insurance reform falls short, committee told, by Anita Lee for the Sun Herald:

A House bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program through September 2015 falls far short of reform the program needs for financial solvency, experts and politicians testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing Thursday.

NFIP’s instability was the main reason cited by those who oppose U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor’s proposal to offer optional wind coverage. Taylor, D-Miss, was joined by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., in advocating wind coverage through NFIP. Both talked about the inherent conflict in having private insurance companies adjust their own wind claims, along with NFIP claims, after hurricanes.

Joining Taylor was  Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was also “advocating wind coverage through NFIP” and with that news, we turn to Sop’s second story, Future of national flood insurance program debated, and Bruce Albert writing for the Times Picayune: Continue reading “Let’s talk multi peril insurance and NFIP reauthorization as Slabbed updates the Washington front”

More $h*t for taxpayers to wipe revealed in GAO report


The Government Accountability Office has cited a number of insurance companies, including American International Group, as having subsidiaries in areas classified as tax-havens. The list mentions property-casualty insurers, life insurers and health insurers including Berkshire Hathaway, the Hartford, MetLife, Travelers and United Health.

Obviously the $h*t is much deeper than the reported story indicates – the 63-page GAO report, International Taxation: Large U.S. Corporations and Contractors with Subsidiaries in Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions only looks at publicly the 100 largest publicly traded corporations and 100 largest publicly traded contractors.

Privately held companies and contractors were beyond the scope of the GAO investigation and report; therefore, insurers and the affiliated companies of the insurance industry that are privately owned, including those insurers that operate as a mutual fund, aren’t included even when their use of tax havens and/or privacy jurisdictions is well known.

GAO prepared the report at the request of Congress and acknowledged:

Today, corporations operate in a global economy and most of the largest U.S. corporations have subsidiaries in other countries. Corporations have foreign subsidiaries for a variety of business reasons, including reasons related to taxes. For example, a corporation may establish a foreign subsidiary to take advantage of sales opportunities, natural resources, or favorable labor conditions.

Keeping all of those reasons in mind, take a look at the results of the GAO investigation: Continue reading “More $h*t for taxpayers to wipe revealed in GAO report”