Brrrr – MID throws Allstate’s requested rate increase out in the cold

Officials say the Mississippi Insurance Commission has rejected a company’s request to increase rates 65.1 percent on more than 50,000 homes statewide.

Mississippi denies Allstate rate increase makes a great headline; but there is more to the Clarion Ledger story:

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Mark Haire says the rejection order was sent Thursday to AllState Property and Casualty Insurance Co. of Northbrook, Ill.

Haire said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney made the decision after specialists reviewed the request and found the large increase was not justified.

The requested increase would have covered 51,097 homeowners.

As with the initial denial of State Farm’s request, this is not the end of the story:

Haire said AllState has the option of having a hearing on the matter or filing a new request for a lower increase.

Brrrrr.

Should the solvency of Kingsway Financial Services matter to Mississippians? Don’t count on Mr Chaney for the answer.

I’ll admit it, until I was tipped I had no idea who Kingsway Financial Services was or whether they were doing business in Mississippi. Then again I am a hard hat CPA so that should be expected. But what about our DOI?

Curious, I began to google and before long I tuned up one of Kingsway’s subsidaries that did business in Mississippi in Southern United Fire Insurance Company based out of Mobile. Giving credit where it is due the folks at Southern United give a link to their AM Best rating on the front page of their web portal. It is not good by the way.

So my next stop was what should have been the first stop but I knew better than that. You see, at the Mississippi Department of Insurance seldom is heard a discouraging word about insurers whether solvent or not. For better or worse our state regulator Mike Chaney is asleep at the switch when it comes to these things.

As an independent agent that is not asleep at the switch told me today, insure with Southern United if you want the cheapest rate, just don’t count on them being around in 6 months to pay your claim. ‘Nuff said.

sop

The Sun Herald expresses some disappointment at the Commish and his State Farm rate hike.

We weren’t disappointed in Mr Chaney’s latest one bit here at Slabbed mainly because we knew what our favorite captured insurance regulator would be doing with this latest Farm rate up. The comments in yesterday’s story and today’s Op-Ed about Mr Chaney being a puppet for big insurance pretty much sums up local popular opinion:

You tell your boss you want a 45 percent raise, but you are unwilling to do any extra work to get it. Your boss, fearing the loss of your services, manages to scrape up enough money to offer you a 19.5 percent pay increase and begs you to stay. You take the 19.5, but you make it clear that you are “disappointed” and will do less work.

Fantasy?

Not if you are an insurance company doing business in Mississippi.

Beginning in mid-February, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. has Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s permission to raise homeowner insurance rates 19.5 percent in the three Coast counties. State Farm had asked for a 45 percent rate increase and said it was “disappointed” not to get it.

The higher rates will apply only to current policyholders since State Farm is not adding to the more than 20,000 customers it insures against wind damage in Hancock, Harrison or Jackson counties. In fact, State Farm plans to drop wind coverage from 1,800 policies in surge-prone areas. Continue reading “The Sun Herald expresses some disappointment at the Commish and his State Farm rate hike.”

Some friends are in the news today

Long Beach resident Kevin Buckel and United Policyholders executive director Amy Bach to be specific. Kevin’s website details his thus far fruitless pursuit of a statutory Policyholder Bill of Rights for Mississippians. It has been blocked in committee in the Senate by Sen. Eugene “Buck” Clarke, a GOP free market true believer over at the Big Rock Candy Mountain in Jackson.

We’ve also chronicaled Mr Buckel’s efforts at fostering transparency at the Mississippi Department of Insurance as he has taken our current Commish to court after the claims files used in the sham Market Conduct Study began under Mr Chaney’s predecessor turned insurance lobbyist George Dale as overseen by former Deputy Commish Lee Harrell who now works for State Farm law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz. Mr Chaney has thus far successfully stonewalled those efforts. Anita Lee picks up more recent events here:

A Coast policyholder is appealing to the state Supreme Court for access to Mississippi Insurance Department records that would show the dollar amount of Katrina claims denied by insurance companies.

Long Beach policyholder Kevin Buckel filed a written request in January 2009 for records showing the total amount of damages homeowners claimed, the total amount paid and the total amount denied by private property insurance companies. MID maintains the agency does not have the records.

United Policyholders of America is helping Buckel fund the appeal. Continue reading “Some friends are in the news today”

Don’t get mad get Slabbed: Welcome to the Farm’s Jilted Policyholders in Florida

H/T Steve for the new jingle.

Type State Farm in our search box for the myriad of ways the Farm fleeced it’s customers here after Katrina. If ou want to know what Mississippians who have dealt with the Farm first hand think click here and scroll to the comments. These two sum it up:

All coastal states should band together and tell State Farm and the others, if they are a full line insurance company they cannot cherry pick. I am afraid our new ins. commish. will just roll over too.

Why would anyone anywhere in the nation want to insure with State Farm? Can’t people see what’s going on. I know that after Katrina, SF held their rates for awhile because they were trying to save a little of the terrible reputation they had left. These b_____ds need to be in a MS jail, not in the insurance business. Nope, never had SF insurance, no grudge, just can smell a rat from a mile away.

So it could be worse folks. Your insurance commish could be captured by the industry he is supposed to regulate like ours in Mississippi who indeed has done a great job working for State Farm. (Vid capture coming soon, Commissioner McCarty will love it. ;-).

sop

Speaking of Socialism and Mississippi Republicans. An Open Letter to our Favorite Captured Regulator the Commish

Anita Lee is always good but today she is also heaven sent. It seems the Consumer Federation of America and United Policyholders have taken Mr Chaney to task for not doing a good job looking out for consumers. Duh! I guess we should be grateful he has finally gotten around to the fortified bunker program.

I guarantee Kevin Buckel and Amy Bach aren’t the only two people that our Commish feels free to ignore. IMHO Chaney and his staff were too busy leaking David Rossmiller info about the Market Conduct Study to bother with such trivialities.

In any event (and while we wait to hear what Mr Matthews and Company think of Mr Chaney and his Market Conduct Study) here is Anita Lee’s story about how consumers/voters need not apply for access to the Commish -he is simply too busy.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney needs to do a better job for consumers, two national organizations have concluded, but Chaney said Wednesday night that he he has “a full platter.” Continue reading “Speaking of Socialism and Mississippi Republicans. An Open Letter to our Favorite Captured Regulator the Commish”

Chaney gets a tube of his own compliments of SLABBED – and it's his favorite color "State Farm Red"

Sop correctly gave MID a two thumbs up rating on the methodology of the State Farm Market Conduct Exam – and, if the report had ended on page 32, I’d give Commissioner Chaney two thumbs up, too.

However, the report doesn’t end for another 21 pages – all spent wiping the lipstick off the wrong pig – earning Chaney a tube of State Farm Red all his own for content exceeding the stated Purpose and Scope of the examination:

This examination pursuant to its authority focused on whether the Company treated its policyholders  fairly, honored the terms and conditions of its policies, and complied with Mississippi insurance law and regulations, as well as Department of Insurance Bulletins.

The scope of this examination did not encompass an investigation of specifically relating to fraudulent or criminal activity per se and no conclusions have been drawn as to the presence or absence of fraud. It should be noted, MID is not a law enforcement entity…

While the portion of the examination that is clearly pursuant to its authority provides data supporting the Rigsby qui tam claim, the narrative beginning on page 32 wanders through poorly supported conclusions Continue reading “Chaney gets a tube of his own compliments of SLABBED – and it's his favorite color "State Farm Red"”

Chaney gets a tube of his own compliments of SLABBED – and it’s his favorite color “State Farm Red”

Sop correctly gave MID a two thumbs up rating on the methodology of the State Farm Market Conduct Exam – and, if the report had ended on page 32, I’d give Commissioner Chaney two thumbs up, too.

However, the report doesn’t end for another 21 pages – all spent wiping the lipstick off the wrong pig – earning Chaney a tube of State Farm Red all his own for content exceeding the stated Purpose and Scope of the examination:

This examination pursuant to its authority focused on whether the Company treated its policyholders  fairly, honored the terms and conditions of its policies, and complied with Mississippi insurance law and regulations, as well as Department of Insurance Bulletins.

The scope of this examination did not encompass an investigation of specifically relating to fraudulent or criminal activity per se and no conclusions have been drawn as to the presence or absence of fraud. It should be noted, MID is not a law enforcement entity…

While the portion of the examination that is clearly pursuant to its authority provides data supporting the Rigsby qui tam claim, the narrative beginning on page 32 wanders through poorly supported conclusions Continue reading “Chaney gets a tube of his own compliments of SLABBED – and it’s his favorite color “State Farm Red””