The first week of April, Jeff Amy at the Mobile Press Register authored an excellent story on the coastal X-wind HO market in Alabama. His story, unlike our coverage of it, is very timely. However, unlike justice delayed, Mr Amy’s piece has gotten better with time. The reason for that also explains my detour back to November 29, 2006 and the deposition of State Farm Senior Vice President Mr Robert Trippel, an otherwise useless character who still managed to provide some enlightening commentary when he was deposed in Watkins v State Farm about several Katrina related matters. While the meat of Mr Trippel’s depo is dedicated post on its own he had a few things to say about X-Wind policies in his zone, which includes Mississippi and Alabama so it is on page 103 of his deposition that we begin as the Watkins lawyer Jeff Marr questions Mr Trippel:
Q All right, Mr. Trippel, after you identified — what are these called, initiatives, is that what we’d call them — in these different states these things that are being conducted, what are they called?
A I would say it’s the new underwriting guidelines.
Q Okay. And you covered Mississippi and Georgia. Which state is next? What’s another state in this zone that’s been affected by the change of underwriting guidelines following Katrina?
Q How has Alabama’s underwriting guidelines been changed following Katrina?
A Very similar with a mile setback off the coast and hurricane deductibles for new business.
Q Okay. So similar to Mississippi in that new business is only a mile off the coast, correct? Is that correct?
Q And then the wind hurricane — excuse me, hurricane deductible is now 2 percent to 5 percent?
Q Any others?
Mr Marr, like Nowdy and I must have been scratching his head wondering what skills besides the ability to recite the company line Mr Trippel brought to his very senior position on the Farm. He certainly does not know the basics of insurance finance as we continue on the bottom of page 104: Continue reading “Familar Problems in Alabama’s X-Wind Homeowners Insurance Market”