National Public Radio remembers Bay St Louis on Katrina plus 5

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”

Watered down policyholder legislation still hanging on in the Mississippi Legislature

I have a trio of stories from last week’s Sun Herald on the efforts to pass consumer friendly insurance legislation this legislative session. Regular Slabbed readers know that consumers have not had much of a chance in our special interest owned legislature but there are some signs that we must be closing in on an election year because a watered down policyholder bill of rights finally made it out of committee in the State House of Representatives as the Sun Herald’s Michael Newsom explains:

The state House Insurance Committee passed a compromise version of the “policyholder’s bill of rights” Tuesday, which kept the bill alive ahead of a legislative deadline to clear committee.

But if the bill passes the full House, it may face long odds in the Senate Insurance Committee, which hasn’t taken up similar post-Hurricane Katrina insurance reform measures.

The House Insurance Committee passed House Bill 563 unanimously. It would put into law language from a court decision that says the burden of proof is on the insurance company to prove an exclusion in a policy applies to a claim. The bill also requires insurers to notify homeowners if they intend to increase the premium by 10 percent or more, by sending written notice of the increase 30 days before the renewal date, among other provisions. If the company doesn’t send notice in time, the policy renews at the same rate.

This next bit of language left me scratching my head and makes me wonder how low the cumulative insurance IQ of the State House of Representatives is because adjusting claims has nothing to do with “actuarial principles”: Continue reading “Watered down policyholder legislation still hanging on in the Mississippi Legislature”

Insurance Reforms die once again in our special interest owned legislature

Having seen our do nothing legislature in action up close and personal I was not surprised to see this morning’s front page story in the Sun Herald which declared dead every meaningful consumer friendly insurance proposal introduced this legislative session including the basic policyholder protections contained in a policyholder bill of rights. Here on Slabbed we’re not nice in that we name names and point out broken promises unlike a typical newspaper which will rip a pol on page 1 while endorsing his re-election bid on the opinion page. For better or worse it is a reflection of my style from the finance boards where I post with money on the line. With that in mind let’s break down Michael Newsom’s report:

Several bills South Mississippi lawmakers submit annually in response to insurance issues discovered after Hurricane Katrina are poised to die Tuesday without debate in legislative committees.

Each year, Coast lawmakers submit various versions of the “policyholders bill of rights” designed to protect homeowners in the event they file an insurance claim and also measures removing the “anti-concurrent causation” clause, which insurance companies used to deny payment of wind damage claims in cases where they said water also played a role. Court cases and insurance law experts have said the clauses don’t apply to hurricanes because the two weather events cause different kinds of damages.

I don’t know if this is bad editing or bad journalism but once again we see anti concurrent causation slaughtered by a reporter. To understand the ACC all one must understand is the definition of concurrent:

1. operating or occurring at the same time. Continue reading “Insurance Reforms die once again in our special interest owned legislature”