SLABBED not exactly Daily – August 17, 2010

No doubt insurance claims handling after Katrina is reflected in the population loss reported for two of Mississippi’s three Coastal counties:

Here’s a glance at population gains and losses in selected Mississippi counties, according to the Census Bureau website…

Harrison: 189,601 in 2000; estimated 181,191 in 2009. (Down 8,410)
Hancock: 42,967 in 2000; estimated 40,962 in 2009. (Down 2,005)

Opponents of multi-peril insurance offer no alternative for storm victims, an editorial in Sunday’s Sun Herald took the U.S. Chamber of Commence to task for its opposition to Congressman Taylor’s legislation:

The failure of private insurance companies to offer wind coverage to home and business owners in the nation’s coastal regions ought to compel Congress to add wind coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Yet Congressman Gene Taylor’s proposal to do just that is stalled in the House of Representatives.

A primary opponent of Taylor’s proposal is the United States Chamber of Commerce, which four years, eleven months and two weeks after Hurricane Katrina still does not understand the severity of this situation…

If you do business on either the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast, we urge you to contact the U.S. Chamber and urge them to support the only alternative to financial ruin being offered to coastal residents and businesses. Their address is: U.S. Chamber of Commerce; 1615 H St., NW; Washington, DC 20062-2000. Their phone number is (202) 659-6000 and their Web site is Continue reading “SLABBED not exactly Daily – August 17, 2010”

National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Realtors, and American Bankers Association all support H.R. 1264!

Members of Congress would be well-advised to follow Sandra Bullock’s lead and consider the source – and source of funding – of opposition to Congressman Taylor’s HR 1264.Bullock, according to the story appearing in today’s Sun Herald, “wants her parts of a video promoting Gulf Coast restoration removed until she learns whether oil companies influenced it”:

[Bullock’s]…statement Thursday came after the website DeSmogBlog called the campaign an industry push to get support for drilling and taxpayer money to repair wetland damage caused by the BP oil spill.  Women of the Storm, a New Orleans group that produced the video, lists America’s Wetland Foundation as a partner. The foundation lists BP and other oil companies as sponsors on its website.

After reading the article about Bullock’s stand, I found a related email message about Congressman Taylor’s latest “Dear Colleague” letter:

The lobbyists for a few environmental groups have contacted your offices in opposition to H.R. 1264 the Multiple Peril Insurance Act.

Their statements are not only misguided, they are offensive. It is offensive to suggest that no one living within 30 miles of a coastline should be able to buy reasonably-priced insurance that would pay claims promptly and fairly simply because there are some ecologically sensitive coastal areas that should not be developed.

My bill does not subsidize development for anyone, anywhere, not in sensitive areas or any areas. Continue reading “National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Realtors, and American Bankers Association all support H.R. 1264!”

Stop the lies about HR 1264- Taylor's bill to provide multiperil coverage under NFIP essential to strong economy

Once again, instead of walking the talk of jobs and economic recovery, government is about to stumble – tripped, this time, by lies about the need to enable the purchase of multiperil coverage and optional separate windstorm coverage under the NFIP as proposed in HR 1264.

The truth about the need for HR 1264 can be found on the Congressman’s website and is summarized in his recent “Dear Colleague” letter below”

Dear Colleague:

You may have received statements or letters in opposition to H.R. 1264, the Multiple Peril Insurance Act. These statements all appear to be based on the same false assumptions that the private insurance industry is meeting the demand in coastal areas and that insurance premiums in coastal areas are appropriately priced. These statements are not supported by the facts or the economics of the hurricane insurance market.

There is no functioning, competitive market for property insurance in coastal areas. Millions of homeowners and business owners have inelastic demand, which means that they are required by their mortgages or lenders to buy windstorm coverage. However, private insurance companies are not required to sell it to them, and companies have stopped writing new coverage in most coastal markets, even though all of the Gulf states and most of the Atlantic states allow insurers to charge premiums that are several times higher than what they expect to pay in claims. Continue reading “Stop the lies about HR 1264- Taylor's bill to provide multiperil coverage under NFIP essential to strong economy”

USAA’s admission of Claims Dumping in Corban ripples across the media

This story at the Insurance and Financial Advisor is too good to let lie. (Big H/T to Editilla at the Ladder) I think we’re fixing to find out if the people at the National Underwriter wield pom poms or if they are real journalists. Bob Graham has the story:

An insurance company admitted to shifting its costs to the federal National Flood Insurance Program in the first wind versus water damage case from Hurricane Katrina to reach Mississippi’s high court.

Insurance company USAA made the admission in oral arguments before the Mississippi Supreme Court June 9 in a heavily watched case about whether carriers bear the burden of proof to decide the extent of property damage caused by wind and if carriers can void a homeowner’s wind coverage because of prior water damage.

A lower court had asked the state’s high court to interpret the “anti-concurrent causation” clause in homeowners’ policies as a precursor to it addressing a policyholder’s request for coverage from USAA.

The high court’s ruling is critical in establishing how insurance companies that wrote policies in Mississippi – and possibly other states — eventually handle claims resulting from the August 2005 hurricane. Continue reading “USAA’s admission of Claims Dumping in Corban ripples across the media”

Gene Taylor Comments on Corban and Claims Dumping

Congressman Gene Taylor
U.S. House of Representatives
Fourth District of Mississippi

2269 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5772
Fax (202) 225-7074

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ana Maria Rosato
(202) 253-1308

June 10, 2009

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.): Insurance Company USAA
publicly admits shifting costs to NFIP, taxpayers
Pass my Multiple Peril Insurance Act to protect
coastal homeowners and America’s taxpayers

In oral arguments before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday, insurance company USAA admitted that it shifted its own costs to the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In the first wind vs. water case to reach Mississippi’s state’s high court, the lower court asked the high court to interpret the “anti-concurrent causation” clause that is often buried inside homeowner contracts. The lower state court requested the high court interpret the burden of proof before the case is heard on the facts.

At issue is whether the insurance company bears the burden of proof to determine the extent of property damage caused by wind or whether the company can void a homeowner’s wind coverage simply because water came on the property at some point. USAA asked the court not to require the company to pay any wind damage based on the fact that the property also incurred some water damage. The Gulf Coast suffered up to four hours of damage from hurricane force winds before any flooding began.

“Asking the court to sanctify the company’s decision not to live up to its fiduciary responsibility to the federal taxpayers and homeowners is outrageous,” responded Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.). “I vigorously renew my call for the U.S. Senate to follow the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives and pass my Multiple Peril Insurance Act. This act eliminates all opportunities for insurance companies to continue to betray Coastal American homeowners and taxpayers.”

NFIP is financed through homeowner policyholder premiums, which are subsidized with federal tax dollars. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the NFIP ran a $17.5 billion deficit while the Property & Casualty Industry boasted $108 billion in profits in 2005 and 2006. To date, Congress has yet to determine the extent to which the NFIP’s billion dollar deficit may have come from fraudulent claims that the insurance companies deliberately submitted.

“What we learned from Katrina is that insurance companies have an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to adjusting flood claims on properties that also sustained wind damage. Over and over and over again what we learned after Katrina,” Taylor continued “is that companies like State Farm and Nationwide put out memos directing staff to resolve this conflict of interest in the company’s favor and to the detriment America’s homeowners and taxpayers. USAA’s court admission confirms this as well.” Continue reading “Gene Taylor Comments on Corban and Claims Dumping”

In retrospect the fix was in with Obama long ago

From the Hill’s Blog Briefing Room (H/T Steve):

The Republican National Committee (RNC) sought to undermine Barack Obama’s ban on lobbyist donations to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) today by pointing out that DNC Vice Chair Lottie Shackelford is herself a registered lobbyist.

The DNC announced yesterday that it would not take donations from registered federal lobbyists or Political Action Committees (PACs), in keeping with Obama’s rule for his own campaign–a rule that was disputed by Obama’s Democratic rivals in presidential primary debates.

Shackleford is senior executive vice president of lobbying firm Global USA, Inc.; she has been a registered lobbyist with the firm since 1999. Her corporate clients include SBC Communications, Hyundai Motor Co., Kyocera Corp., Allstate Insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, and Sallie Mae, Inc. Her non-corporate clients include National Public Radio, Miami-Dade County, Fla., and pro-immigration interest group United to Secure America.

Shackelford was Deputy Campaign Manager for President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. She was elected mayor of Little Rock, Ark. in 1987 and was the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor.

In the press release it circulated about Shackelford today, the RNC accused Obama of “hypocrisy” when it comes to lobbyists and asked, “How will the DNC’s ban on lobbyist cash bring change when there are major exceptions and registered lobbyists in leadership positions?”

Barack Obama on Multiperil Insurance: I was for it before I was against it….

Barack Obama is proving himself a typical lying sack of shit politician that will say anything to get votes and then break promises once elected by backtracking on Gene Taylor’s multi-peril insurance bill. Playing the candidates off each other, our good friend and occasional contributor Steve was instrumental in getting that email from Hillary in support of Gene Taylor’s Multiperil insurance bill in the process landing in the AP report after he confronted former Prez Bill Clinton during his March 2008 campaign visit to the coast.

There was another news report published the day after Mr Bills visit  by Anita Lee at the Sun Herald who interviewed Obama when he was in Mississippi campaigning. Lets go back in time to that old story and see if you don’t agree with me that Obama has hoodwinked us all and in the process revealed himself as a common politician more in love with Wall Street ca$h and the crooks at AIG than the little people who elected him. There is no link to this article but it is reprinted here with the permission of Ms Lee and the Sun Herald (who have our thanks for sharing this with us):

March 9, 2008 Sunday

Candidates have recovery plans;
Insurance, FEMA among issues addressed

ANITA LEE, [email protected]

SECTION: A; Pg. 10

Republican nominee John McCain is the only candidate who has visited the Mississippi Coast since Hurricane Katrina, but the Democratic contenders have turned their attention here in preparation for a competitive primary on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama previously offered passing references to the devastation in Mississippi as they outlined recovery plans for the New Orleans area, although Bill Clinton has visited and raised funds for the Coast. Both Clintons were campaigning in Mississippi at week’s end, with Obama planing a visit Monday. Neither scheduled stops on the Coast, but Bill Clinton did visit once again on Saturday. Continue reading “Barack Obama on Multiperil Insurance: I was for it before I was against it….”

HR 1264 is done. Stick a fork in it.

Given that Mr Obama hails from the home state of both State Farm and Allstate this should surprise no one. The bottom line is it is status quo for wind insurance thus if you’re trapped in the wind pool keep grabbing yer ankles as there is no relief in sight.

Before I link the Sun Herald story a few observations:

  • The house oversight committee for the Department of Homeland Security is chaired by Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson yet Gene could not get a meeting with Janet Napolitano despite trying for two months.
  • Nancy Pelosi’s clout with the Obama administration looks to be minuscule to nonexistent.
  • Any meaningful regulatory reform with respect to the insurance industry is at least 4 years off. Continue reading “HR 1264 is done. Stick a fork in it.”

Catching up a week’s worth of insurance news: The windpool and a Sun Herald Editorial

I noted the Sun Herald ran an insurance related editorial and covered the continuing fight to get another 40 million dollar taxpayer subsidy from the legislature to the windpool this session. We’ll start with the heavily commented upon editorial that ran Thursday:

To appreciate the urgency of finding a way to lower residential insurance rates on the Coast, consider where our economy would be if a large segment of South Mississippians were not paying hundreds and thousands of additional dollars in premiums each year.

Much of that money would be circulating.

It could be used to make car payments. It could be used to make home improvements. It could be used to make countless purchases.

It could be used to pay for medical and dental services now being put on hold due to the expense.

Surely every sector of our economy — wholesale as well as retail, dining and entertainment as well as professional services — would be bolstered, if not booming.

Instead, insurance costs drain our economy of needed cash. Continue reading “Catching up a week’s worth of insurance news: The windpool and a Sun Herald Editorial”

Gene continues multiperil insurance rollout. Greg Harper proves to be a good neighbor.

(h/t Alan at Yall for the link). Yesterday, thanks to the C-L story on the topic of multiperil insurance we found Mississippi’s own Rep Greg Harper has signed on to Gene’s bill joining Travis Childers as co-sponsors of HR 1264.  Bennie Thompson has yet to sign on. Looking at the list of co sponsors at Gene’s congressional website we find a very diverse group of people (just like here at slabbed) in support of the multi peril concept. In addition to the newest announcements we see conservatives such as NOLA area Republican Rep Steve Scalise to Democratic Representatives Alcee Hastings and Sheila Jackson Lee have also signed on to HR 1264.

Over the past two years I’ve met, shook hands and briefly conversed with more US House members than I can remember at Gene’s Bay St Louis town hall meetings. Two from last year that came to the Bay and “talked a good game” were New York’s Steve Israel and Connecticut’s John Larson. For the slabbed it is put up or shut up time and we’re paying attention to the House members that sign up and the ones who talk a good game. We’re also paying attention to our own  US Senator Roger Wicker who appears to be doing a tap dance instead of working this issue from the Senate side.  Deborah Barfield has the Clarion Ledger story:

Banking on public outrage against insurance companies, 4th District Rep. Gene Taylor says his bill to add wind coverage to the federal flood-insurance program stands a better shot at passage this Congress.

“I would think that if there is ever a time to convince our fellow congressmen to rein in this industry, it’s now,” said Taylor, a Democrat.

Taylor reintroduced a bill this month that would expand the federal flood-insurance program to include wind coverage, which supporters say is important to homeowners in areas hit by hurricanes.

The bill, called the Multiple Peril Insurance Act, would allow homeowners who buy federal flood insurance to also purchase wind coverage.

Taylor said he expects more attention will be paid to his bill this year because lawmakers are upset that American International Group gave $165 million in employee bonuses after receiving more than $180 billion in a government bailout of the financial services industry. The House passed a bill Thursday that would impose a tax of 90 percent of those bonuses. Continue reading “Gene continues multiperil insurance rollout. Greg Harper proves to be a good neighbor.”