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Gov Bentley says 'IT IS UNFAIR the way it's done'
Extracts from Gov. Bentley's response to Charles Kettel's question
on the Uncle Henry call-in show asking
what he intended to do to correct the discriminatory coastal
homeowners' insurance rates.
House note and excessive insurance premium was more than he
(Bentley) . . . This is a major problem for this part of the state
and we have worked on that and we have tried to do some things – the Clarity Act was obviously a part of that; we still work on that on a regular basis. I have two houses down here myself and I have one on the beach and I really aught to pay more right there on the beach than people inland but, you know, it is a real problem and it really is a complicated issue and I know that.
. . Listen, I probably have been working on this with a number of people for a number of years, and we have so many people down here who have worked so hard on it that I put together a commission to look into it and we still didn't get the answers that I would like to hear.
(Kettel) . . . it is because of my experience, extremely negative experiences with my insurance company. After 37 years of no claims I was canceled, OK? And it's just, no claims and canceled arbitrarily and then being quoted insane rates, ya know that the state average is below $1000, and ya know, I can't even buy it, ya know, if I get a quote they won't sell it to me.
(Henry) We're up on a break. Charles we are going to have to run, but Governor, where do we go from here?
(Bentley) Well we need to continue, well, first of all we need to work with the coastal states and to see if there is some way that we can do somethings as far as coastal states are concerned.
And I wanted also to continue to fortify houses and we do have laws on the books that help you get as much as 35% off of your homeowners' insurance if you fortify your house. We wanted to use some of the BP money to do that, to do some mitigation grants to people so that they can do that. Maybe index it for people's income, you know, for this sort of thing.
But this, I believe is going to be a national coastal type,
maybe a compact between some of the states to work on this
issue. It is a very complicated issue, but I don't want the
people down here to think that we don't think about this on a
regular basis and we work on this on a regular basis trying to
come up with a solution. IT IS UNFAIR the way its done.
Below are links to a sample resolution asking for support of the plan for fairness in premiums. The resolution can be tailored to
suit as needed.
Please distribute this as far and wide as you see fit and keep
AC Leggett informed of your contacts.
HHII leaders in Mobile and Baldwin counties have been meeting with coastal legislators during the past few months to discuss implications of Clarity Law data.
The HHII steering board believes the data shows that coastal premiums should return to the state average in 2015.
The coastal average is $950 a year. (In fact, they believe premiums should have never been jacked up so high above the state average in the first place.)
State Senator Vivian Figures (Dem) – one of the Democratic sponsors of the bill – said the data “is just what we need.”
In the picture are leaders from Mobile and Baldwin counties
State Representative Chris Pringle (Rep) studied the
data and said coastal counties should not be treated unfairly.
Senator Trip Pittman (Rep) met with the Lillian chapter, he said he considered the data and the issue very significant and that he would use his abilities to bring about fair treatment of the coast. More
than twenty people attended what was supposed to be a small research meeting, and are too numerous to name. Sally McKinney leads the discussion.
State Representative Steve McMillan said he would have to study the data more before committing to anything. He said he was surprised that the Alabama Department of insurance criticizes its own data because it includes losses from the 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado tragedy.
The Alabama Department of Insurance believes the 2011 tornado losses should be excluded but all hurricane losses included, when determining if coastal residents have the same or lower losses than the rest of the state. (Even if the tornado losses are excluded and all hurricane losses included, coastal losses are marginally higher than the rest of the state, nowhere near three to six times higher.)
DIAMONDHEAD (MS) SUPPORTS COASTAL BAND
Mississippi HHII successfully lobbied the city of Diamondhead to
pass a resolution
in support of the Coastal Band. Kudos to
Janis Floyd. They are also on the agenda for the Hancock County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on October 6. Unofficial reaction from one supervisor:
“It is a no-brainer. The high property insurance premiums are the common denominator for the economic problems in our coastal communities.”
MS HHII FIRED UP OVER CLARITY BILL
Large crowd attends HHII meeting in Mississippi
The Mississippi crowd is burning it up, moving ahead very strongly with large public meetings in the works that will be build around passage of the Mississippi Clarity Bill and also development of the Mississippi Coastal Band contingent.
They are more fed up with the way they've been treated than Alabama people are -- which means they must be really, really fed up! Their experience with unfair payment of claims
appears to be significantly worse than Alabama's after Ivan and an important forewarning to Alabama of what might happen in Alabama if the insurance cosmos isn't fixed in all its manifestations: premiums, deductibles, fair payment of claims and so on.
Homeowners' insurance reform has now become a significant three-state effort
in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, along with five other Atlantic states that are making progress.
Insurance premium hikes highest in Mississippi
From SUN HERALD July 29, 2014
Average annual home insurance premiums in Mississippi increased 15.5% during the second quarter of 2014 - the largest hike of any of
the 25 states that experienced increases, according to the HomeownersInsurance.com Premium Report.
The average premium climbed to $1,170 a year. Premiums are compared only for companies listed with HomeownersInsurance.com, Those companies represent only a small percentage of the property insurance market in Mississippi. For example, major insurers such as State Farm, Nationwide and Allstate are not included in the survey.
The survey found that, nationally, premiums rose to $829 during the quarter, about 2.1% higher than in the first three months of the year. But Mississippi was the only state where the percentage increase hit double digits. The state faces hurricanes and flooding in the southern half and tornadoes in the north.
"Because of all the factors that go into setting home insurance premiums, it's always difficult to pinpoint the reasons for fluctuations," says Jana Bell, Vice President of HomeInsurance.com -- the parent company of HomeownersInsurance.com. "But policyholders in all states should consider ways to reduce how much they pay for coverage without diluting it."
In 2013, Mississippi ranked number 6 in the state for estimated insured catastrophic losses in the United States -- likely one of the biggest reasons for the premium increase.
The largest percentage decrease in premiums, according to the Premium Report, came in Montana, where policyholders paid annual average premiums of $690 during the period
Other states, other rates
The state with the largest average 12-month premium for the quarter was Oklahoma, where homeowners paid $1,597. The lowest average annual premiums were found in Oregon - about $431.
HomeownersInsurance.com offers comparative rates in 44 states on home and auto insurance from carriers such as Travelers, The Hartford, Safeco Insurance, Progressive, MetLife, Liberty Mutual, ASI, and Foremost.
HHII can fully inform your community or fraternal organization,
or church group, small or large, about what is happening with
homeowners' insurance. The presentation can be as short as
ten minutes or as long and in depth as you would like.
Call 251-928-3430 if you know of any who would be interested.
DON'T DROP YOUR FIRE & THEFT INSURANCE!
HHII has heard reports of homeowners who have dropped
insurance coverage because of unaffordable premiums. HHII urges
homeowners to maintain mult-peril (fire & theft) coverage even if they
can no longer afford wind coverage.
This toolkit includes links to detailed information to help answer questions about the changes coming to the NFIP.
ACT-II was developed by Baldwin County pastors in conjunction
with Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. Together we work on a wide variety of
problems in both poor and affluent communities around the county. Our
mission is to develop leaders and empower people to take democratic
action to improve the quality of life in our communities using our
dialogue to action church-based model and principles.
History of ACT-II.
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