A Few Thoughts and Observations on Pelosi's Bay St Louis Visit

I haven’t had much time for blogging of late as other responsibilities have taken up most of my time. Before too much time slipped away I wanted to give some personal impressions of Gene Taylor’s Insurance Town Hall meeting held exactly one week ago. First, as predicted by the Clarion Ledger’s editorial board the event was indeed “a partisan rally for needed change.”
Courtesy of First-Draft

The political speeches on coastal insurance issues by Representatives Larson, Hoyer and Israel, all representing the coastal Northeast reminded me of this picture I found on First-Draft that accompanied their post on the NFIP re authorization.

During my relative absence from slabbed I noted this comment from Karen who is now feeling our pain on Long Beach Island New Jersey. So is her US Representative.

I live on Long Beach Island and have had State Farm Insurance since 1982. Ihave never had a claim and we have never had any damage from storms ever since my family owned the home since 1940’s. Continue reading “A Few Thoughts and Observations on Pelosi's Bay St Louis Visit”

The Mississippi Press Opines in Favor of HR 3121 & Nicely Takes the Commish to Task

Some comments left on Nowdy’s excellent post “Bet your sweet potatoes on the weather and take the pot”  brought to mind a question I asked Dr Edwin Duett at Commissioner Chaney’s insurance forum in response to his remark in reference to HR 3121, “You don’t want actuarily sound wind premiums”.  My question was something along the lines of how do we know exactly what constitutes “actuarily sound”? Before I ramble on further and invite an email from Nowdy that I’ve once again buried my lead I’ll disclose I’ve concluded that insurance is the synthesis of a healthy dose of complex financial calculation along with art in the form of literary sophistry.

I don’t know what is in Commissioner Chaney, Senator Wicker or Governor Barbour’s hearts when they proclaim support for the HR 3121 multi peril concept but sometimes I think I detect a wee bit of political sophistry in their positions. I came away with the feeling the Mississippi Press editorial board does as well when I read their opinion printed yesterday that Gene Taylor’s multi peril bill needs a bigger push which also referenced the Commish’s recent visit to Jackson County to speak to the Kiwanis Club. I wonder if our readers come away with the same impression:

It’s fascinating that Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney doesn’t “see any way that the private industry can cover all the major catastrophic events that can happen in this country.” Continue reading “The Mississippi Press Opines in Favor of HR 3121 & Nicely Takes the Commish to Task”

The Clarion Ledger Opines Again in Favor of Gene Taylor’s Multi Peril Bill

Slabbed is passing out a big attaboy to the editorial board at the Clarion Ledger today for helping spread the good word about Gene Taylor’s multi peril insurance bill HR 3121. I give Sid Salter grief from time to time but overall I find their opinions well reasoned as a general rule. As always we appreciate the continued support of the Clarion Ledger for their reporting on insurance and affordable housing. Here is today’s editorial:

When the U.S. Senate rejected the bill produced by the House that would add wind insurance to the National Flood Insurance e Program, senators said it wasn’t needed.

President Bush, who had threatened to veto the bill originating with Mississippi’s 4th District U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, and backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said: “Government insurance would displace insurance that is already provided by the private market.”

He further said in a statement: “Expansion of the NFIP would also undermine economic incentives to mitigate risks because the program would likely distort rates from their market-determined values.”

In other words, the laws of supply and demand should determine insurance coverage, there’s plenty of insurance available – for those who can afford it – and government intrusion would alter the rates.

While that’s a fine argument in theory, this week, State Farm Insurance Cos. showed how that works in reality. Continue reading “The Clarion Ledger Opines Again in Favor of Gene Taylor’s Multi Peril Bill”

Controversy Over S. 2884 Continues

Nowdy and I are lucky to have cyber friends like Mr CLS and Belle that help keep an eye out for insurance news we miss. Yesterday we missed big time on a Times Picayune story by Rebecca Mowbray on the behind the scenes politicking over the Senate version of Gene Taylor’s HR 3121, S. 2284 but thanks to Mr CLS we bring it to you today.

The issues involved in renewing the National Flood Insurance Program are simple. Differences in the House and Senate version center on adding actuarially sound wind coverage, increasing the coverage limits and the rate of premium increases for vacation homes and homes that suffer repeated claims.  Wind coverage is the main fly in the ointment to reaching a compromise. Continue reading “Controversy Over S. 2884 Continues”

The Sun Herald Weighs in (Again) on Multi-Peril Insurance

Today we are greeted with an editorial in today’s Sun Herald regarding the Senate Banking Committee obstinance in fixing NFIP and solving the public policy problems that arise from the recurring wind-water controversies that result from the structure of the Flood program. Without fruther commentary on my part here is today’s Op-Ed.

Robert Hunter may be right. He is, after all, a former insurance commissioner for the state of Texas and a former director of the National Flood Insurance Program. He is now the director of the Consumer Federation of America and an advocate for change in the insurance industry. Continue reading “The Sun Herald Weighs in (Again) on Multi-Peril Insurance”

Multi-Peril Insurance: Dead for the Year?

Last Thursday, the National Underwriter contained a story of the unusual coalition that had developed in opposition to HR 3121. Matt Brady reports:

In a case of politics making strange bedfellows, J. Robert Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America and the Reinsurance Association of America have joined to oppose legislation expanding the National Flood Insurance Program.

Those that closely follow insurance issues know Mr. Hunter runs insurance issues for the Consumer Federation of America a non profit group composed of other consumer oriented non profits that speak with a single voice on issues they deem important. In this case the debate on HR 3121 and the CFA’s opposition derives from the intersection of environmentalism and insurance theory.

The basis for his opposition to plans to expand the NFIP, Mr. Hunter said, is that while it may sound like something that could help consumers, he believed it would instead likely only aid developers looking to build along the coast. Continue reading “Multi-Peril Insurance: Dead for the Year?”

More on the Ocean Springs Survey

Here is the Sun Herald story on the Ocean Springs survey. It adds some color not found in either the WLOX story or the Newswatch this Week Interview. I’ll add my own experience since Katrina is the loss of coastal residents is also the state’s loss as the overwhelming majority of re-locations which I am familiar involved moving to another state as borne out by resident Brigitte Bernhardt in the story.  Tennessee seems the destination of choice for those I know who have left.  The Sun Herald story:

Mayor Connie Moran said Friday that a survey of her city demonstrates how post-Hurricane Katrina insurance price increases, in some cases more than 200 percent, are financially crippling coastal residents and towns. Continue reading “More on the Ocean Springs Survey”

Mayor Connie Moran Interview on Wind Insurance and Resident Survey

At the end of February we wrote a post concerning a survey Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran was conducting on insurance issues. The survey is now complete and Mayor Moran was ready to talk about the disturbing results she received in the feedback. She noted on WLOX TV yesterday that Ocean Springs has issued only one commercial building permit so far in 2008 and placed the blame squarely on wind insurance as the reason. The interview runs around 8 and a half minutes and is well worth watching. Thanks to Cowboy for capturing the video early this morning for us on the repeat broadcast. It can be found at the bottom of this post.

WLOX also ran a companion news story Friday on their 5 PM broadcast.  Here is the link to that video reported by Patrice Clark.  Following is the print story found on the WLOX website.

Sky rocketing insurance rates are pushing many residents out of Ocean Springs. That news comes from a survey conducted by the city to learn more about residents’ post-Katrina insurance problems. Continue reading “Mayor Connie Moran Interview on Wind Insurance and Resident Survey”