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”

More news from the Cat House: The unregulated, nefarious Bermudan market for collateralized reinsurance. Can’t match those yields…

That’s right folks, this is the market our politicians like Commish Mike Chaney and his band of GOP idiots tell us we should trust and believe in. Never mind what happened when this coutry’s official economic policy was to trust the unregulated derivates market, the gang in Jackson has their story and they are sticking to it. Perhaps this is also why our state’s windpool has become a bottomless pit for taxpayer subsidy. I’ll let the good folks at Risk and Insurance Online explain:

But perhaps the investor summed up all his unspoken concerns when he stood up at the end of the presentation and asked, in not so many words: Isn’t it true that you reinsurance guys keep all the good catastrophe risks for yourselves, then give what’s left to catastrophe bond investors?

It is a matter of debate whether the speakers denied that or not, but what they did say definitely is that collateralized reinsurance has its own special place in the world of insurance-linked securities (ILS), separate from CAT bonds. It’s not that one product covers better property-catastrophe risks than the other.

It’s that collateralized reinsurance has found itself a niche at the bottom of the reinsurance program. Collateralized reinsurance usually comes into play at the lowest layers of a primary carrier’s reinsurance program. We’re talking even below the traditional “working layers” where the big-name reinsurers play.

Yep we have a new kid on the block in Collateralized Re and guess what kids? It operates in a non transparent market out of Bermuda as we continue: Continue reading “More news from the Cat House: The unregulated, nefarious Bermudan market for collateralized reinsurance. Can’t match those yields…”

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”

Good Ol Buck Just Couldn’t Stand It……..

Nope he couldn’t. Our readers may remember our coverage of the Sun Herald editorial calling out Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eugene “Buck” Clarke and criticizing him for caring more about insurance company profits than the citizens of this state. Was the Op-ed spot on? See for yourself.

I suspect the loss of the brain cells naturally followed after Mr Clarke left his head up Ed Rust’s hiney too long. Has anyone see Lieutenant Governor Bryant????

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The Sun Herald joins Slabbed in calling out State Senate Insurance Committee Chair Eugene “Buck” Clarke

Yep they did. I’ll add Lieutenant Gov. Phil Bryant put him there. Follow the money guys.

When Victor Hugo said that “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” he obviously did not have the Mississippi Legislature in mind.

Among some legislators, especially committee chairmen, ideas are not nearly as powerful as politics.

This session’s prime example of that is Eugene S. “Buck” Clarke, the chairman of the insurance committee in the state Senate. Continue reading “The Sun Herald joins Slabbed in calling out State Senate Insurance Committee Chair Eugene “Buck” Clarke”