49% residential lots vacant in East Biloxi, “squirrel farts”, Commissioner upset USAA breaking wind – and other Saturday news

I’m going to go ahead and call in my power outage to Entergy now because it takes them that long to get out here and fix it when it does go out, which is often, even if a squirrel farts.. but of course they don’t care to fix that problem… but I better not be late paying my bill…

This reader comment on the Clarion Ledger’s story, Snow, freezing rain in weekend forecast for the state, had me ROFLMAO – and definitely disproves the notion that “only boring people talk about the weather”.

While Entergy may not “care to fix” the problem of “squirrel fart” power outages, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio wants to know why 44% of East Biloxi still vacant from Katrina:

Nearly half the land in East Biloxi is still vacant more than five years after Hurricane Katrina, according to a survey by the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.

The survey, released Friday, comprised land east of Interstate 110, excluding downtown. It showed 49.5 percent of the residential lots and 44 percent of all property was vacant in 2010.

“The reason people have for not returning is still a mystery,” said Stephen Crim, a community planner with the Design Studio and leader of the survey. “There are all sorts of anecdotal reasons we can cite to explain why vacancy persists,” he said. Some property owners may be waiting for a casino or other developer to buy the land at a premium, he said. The national real estate crash and recession are other factors, as is the cost of wind insurance near the Coast…

The good folk at the Design Studio could find a big clue to the mystery in Insurance commissioner wants answers from USAA, Anita Lee’s follow-up story on USAA’s decision to drop wind coverage for “at least 1,150 Coast policyholders”.

Despite years of MID assuring the post-Katrina Legislature proposed policyholder protection legislation wasn’t needed, Lee reports “there is no legal requirement for companies to contact the department for this type of action”. Oops! Would it pass if advocates renamed their oft failed proposal a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights”? Continue reading “49% residential lots vacant in East Biloxi, “squirrel farts”, Commissioner upset USAA breaking wind – and other Saturday news”

SLABBED Daily – June 17

The Insurance Journal reports State Farm could owe $0 to $1billion to Texax Consumers.

Read the story and you’ll discover State Farm attorneys said the insurer is still paying off a $1 billion loan that it had to take out from its parent company to stave off bankruptcy six years ago, when mold claims were at their peak.

What business couldn’t use a parent with a billion to loan? None that I can think of, that’s for certain.

What I’m less certain about is the entity mentioned in the article, the Office of Public Insurance Counsel – the most interesting government agency I’d never heard about (until I read the IJ article and checked it out):

The statutory authority for the Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) is found in the Texas Insurance Code Title 5. Subtitle A. Chapter 501. Authority for the collection of funds on behalf of OPIC is found in sections 501.202-501.205. OPIC acts as an advocate for insurance consumers primarily before the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).

OPIC represents consumers as a class on matters involving rates, rules, and forms affecting various personal lines such as property and casualty, title, and credit insurance, and on matters involving rules and forms for life, accident, and health insurance.

On the OPIC website, I discovered another interesting arm of Texas government, the Sunset Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – June 17”