Open Thread for fits or issues that don’t

So many interesting, thought-provoking comments have come up that it seemed like an open thread was in order.

3 thoughts on “Open Thread for fits or issues that don’t”

  1. Editorial: Reform can’t wait till hurricane season
    Wilmington NC Star News
    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20081209/ARTICLES/812090308/1005/sports?Title=Editorial__Reform_can_t_wait_till_hurricane_season
    A direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane might have less impact than the whopper of a rate increase insurers want to impose on homeowners in coastal North Carolina.

    Newly elected Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will barely have time to change offices before confronting the rate-increase request as well as the woefully underfunded Beach Plan, which was supposed to be an insurance policy of last resort but which has become the major policy for many coastal homeowners.

    The trouble is, the plan would be unable to cover likely damage from a major hurricane. It insures about $72 billion in property but only has about $2.4 billion in reserve. Damage from a major storm could easily top $7 billion. If the Beach Plan is broke, private insurers are required to cover the losses.

    … The N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents insurers, wants to raise rates up to 70 percent for folks in some areas and an average of a little under 20 percent statewide.

  2. Guest Commentary: Homeowners insurance: the fight goes on
    By Paula Aschettino (in the Harwich, MA Oracle)
    http://www.wickedlocal.com/harwich/news/lifestyle/columnists/x1720679546/Guest-Commentary-Homeowners-insurance-the-fight-goes-on

    We, the Citizens for Homeowners Insurance Reform, are ready to continue the fight for a meaningful homeowners insurance bill by writing legislation that will bring reform to the current homeowners insurance practices in Massachusetts.
    …The commissioner’s report shows that the Cape and Islands have had the lowest wind claims and losses in the state again, as they have for the past 10 years. Coastal premiums are higher from the Fair Plan and private market insurers, yet we show year after year the lowest losses.

    …No new companies are coming to the coastal area. Narragansett Bay Insurance Company is the only new company to the area and they “cherry pick” the policies that fit their rigid list of requirements. We need reform.

    We will be working on the following areas for reform:

    * Payment of wind deductibles will be triggered by damages from hurricanes only, not any wind event, and capped at 1 percent of the property replacement value.

    * There shall be a meaningful process for homeowners to appeal the amount of insurance coverage required by an insurer, if questioned.

    * The state attorney general shall have the power to call for a rate hearing on any insurance company it feels has asked for an excessive rate increase in homeowners insurance. The Division of Insurance shall give public notice on the DOI Web site, in a timely fashion, for all rate increase requests for homeowners insurance. A public hearing shall be required.

    * Rebates to coastal citizens for overpayment of premiums are justified from both the Fair Plan and private insurers. The Fair Plan profits are well over $129 million from 2004 to 2007. The private insurers (voluntary market) most likely have made profits even higher since their premiums are greater in most cases. These are excessive profits at the coastal citizens expense, when losses are low.

    * Reinsurance contracts must be submitted to the commissioner of insurance and AG’s office when a rate increase is requested and reviewed prior to giving said rate increase. Presently, these contracts are private information and not reviewed, but since the legislation of 2004 allows reinsurance costs from the Fair Plan and private insurers to be passed on to the citizens on the Cape and Islands. We want transparency and public access.

    * Insurance company expenses shall be submitted and reviewed as part of the rate increase filing.

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