Hurricane losses cost insurance companies less
than losses in other parts of Alabama, even
though coastal premiums are 300 percent to 600
percent higher, an Alabama homeowners' group
Insurance company claims, or losses, as a
percentage of premiums paid were 50.68 percent
for coastal Mobile and Baldwin counties
averaged over 10 years, compared to 92.45
percent for the rest of the state, according to
insurance industry submissions to the state.
HHII already managed to push through the Alabama Legislature a law that requires insurance companies to report premiums and losses by zip code. The data, dating to 2003 and posted on the Alabama Insurance Department website, has allowed HHII and others for the first time to see how much money insurance companies are collecting and paying for losses by county.
A similar bill has failed to gain traction in Mississippi, but HHII members are helping build a coalition to push for a law similar to Alabama's, which is called the Clarity Act.
Clarity Law data recently released by insurance companies has angered many Gulf Coast homeowners and organizations fighting for lower homeowners insurance rates.
According to Baldwin County officials, information just released by regulated insurance companies show Mobile and Baldwin County homeowners have been subsidizing the rest of the state for the last 10 years.
They’re numbers that HHII says big insurance companies don’t want you to see. Thanks to the Clarity Law authored by State Representative Joe Faust of Baldwin County, we now have them. What they show is quite a discrepancy between what insurance companies say coastal counties cost them in insurance claims and the real numbers.
The data show that homeowners in Mobile and Baldwin Counties pay an average of 31% more in insurance premiums than the state average and receive only between 16% and 26% return on every dollar invested into premiums. Counties in the top 10 received between 70% and 130% on their claims in 2012.
So what can the average homeowner do to fight back?
“The thing they can do is make their pain and difficulty known to their elected officials. That’s how to do it,” said AL State Senator, Bill Hightower of Mobile.
“We can’t do it by ourselves,” added State Representative, Joe Faust of Baldwin County. “The people need to let the insurance companies and the Department of Insurance know that we’re not just fools down here that we’ve got the data now and we know what’s happening.”
The Clarity Act
data went on line today (11/27/2013).
HHII commends the Department Of Insurance for
their good work in executing the Clarity Law and
making the on-line site user friendly.
DATA SHOW COASTAL PREMIUMS PAY FOR
UPSTATE INSURANCE LOSSES
Mobile and Baldwin counties have been subsidizing
the rest of the state for the past 10 years
Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative's preliminary analysis of Clarity Law Data
Coastal Counties have been less expensive to repair
than the rest of the state over the last 10 years.
* Mobile and Baldwin counties have been subsidizing the rest of the state during the past 10 years.
The Mobile and Baldwin loss-ratio during that time is 50.72. The statewide loss ratio during that same time (with Mobile and Baldwin counties excluded), is 92.48. This is with Hurricane Ivan and Katrina numbers in the calculation. (The higher the number, the greater the losses in that county.)
* The Mobile-Baldwin loss-ratio is 74.5 when premiums are adjusted to the state average. The rest of the state at 92.48 had more damage proportionally over the past 10 years than the coastal counties.
* Removing 2011 – the year of the Tuscaloosa tornadoes -- from the data reduces the statewide loss-ratio to 70. Even with coastal hurricane data left in, the 2011 tornadoes taken out, and coastal premiums adjusted to the state average, coastal counties are no more expensive than the rest of the state.
* Mobile and Baldwin counties have been LESS expensive to repair (loss ratio) than the rest of the state as a whole.
Inland hurricane damage is frequently worse than
In 2004, the year of Hurricane Ivan:
* FIVE inland counties suffered a higher proportional loss than Baldwin County: Monroe, Escambia, Conecuh, Clarke and Wilcox.
* EIGHTEEN inland counties suffered a higher proportional loss than Mobile County: Monroe, Escambia, Conecuh, Clarke, Wilcox, Washington, Butler, Choctaw, Lowndes, Marengo, Crenshaw, Covington, Greene, Chilton, Sumter, Coosa, Dallas, and Perry.
Premiums were approximately the same in those days, so need not be adjusted to the state average.
You can evaluate the data for yourself by
downloading the attached spread sheet
COASTAL BAND COVERED ON MPR
Group says Coastal Band would cut wind,
If Coast residents want lower property insurance rates, along with prompt and fair payment of claims, they must push for change, members of a grass roots group founded in Alabama told 40 people gathered Monday night at First United Methodist Church.
The Homeowners' Hurricane Insurance Initiative, a coalition of more than 50 churches in Baldwin and Mobile counties, is exploring creation of a nonprofit wind insurance entity that would cover a 17-state Coastal Band 70 miles deep, from Texas to Maine. A congressional act or interstate compact would establish the entity to collect premiums and pay hurricane wind claims, with private insurers continuing to cover other losses.
HHII is also considering the addition of flood insurance to the proposal.
At Monday night's meeting, attendees talked about the high cost of property insurance -- when they can even get quotes.
Builder Jimmy Levens said he was given a quote of $36,000 per year for $500,000 in flood coverage on a restaurant under construction, which he was able to knock down to $15,000 by making some construction changes. But the policy covers the structure only during construction. A quote on the post-construction price will have to wait until the building is finished, he said. The floor will sit 37 feet above sea level.
The Rev. Steve Mooneyham, executive director of the Gulf Coast Baptist Association, said some member churches are going without insurance, while others are self insured, because the cost is so high.
Michelle Kurtz, community consultant with HHII, said the high cost of wind insurance has cut into her family's budget, with no relief in sight.
HHII believes wind insurance premiums in the Coastal Band could be cut in half and still create a surplus.
Private insurance companies, Kurtz told the group, are spending premiums overseas for reinsurance, coverage they buy from for-profit companies to help pay catastrophic losses.
The National Flood Insurance Program, which has been in debt since Katrina, is spending only 44 percent of premiums collected to pay claims, Kurtz told the crowd. NFIP pays private insurance companies 30 percent of premiums as commissions and servicing costs, she said.
HHII already is networking with other coastal states on joining together for affordable insurance. The group is hoping to enlist volunteers on the Mississippi Coast who would spread the HHII message and try to get politicians on board. Policy makers, members said, have been slow to back change.
"You can't sit back, relax and let other people do it," HHII's Earl Janssen of Foley told the assembly. "It won't get done. You'll have to do it."
CITY OF FAIRHOPE SUPPORTS EXPLORING
COASTAL BAND SOLUTION
HHII & CGECHIC thank the City of Fairhope for
adopting a Resolution of Support of
Exploration of the Interstate Re-insurance Coastal Band. Read the full
. Baldwin County Commission passed a similar resolution in May, thanks to work by Bob James.
HOW YOUR DONATIONS TO HHII ARE HELPING
Various leaders in the group who have the time have made trips to
Louisiana, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. They've made
excellent progress building a multi state coastal grassroots network.
State Rep. Joe Faust has partnered with this initiatve and has made a significant
difference opening doors in every direction. His letterhead, calls from his office
and his occasional trips to these other states have added significantly to the "gravitas."
The work in these neighboring states has served as a prototype for the work to be done
in the rest of the coastal band -- running from Mexico to Maine. The attached
gives a sense of the cost of this prototype activity. Using their experiences, the various
people who gather to brainstorm next steps have developed a three-phase plan that brings
the grassroots in all 17 Gulf and Atlantic coastal states into a giant network that requires
officials to fix the coastal insurance crisis. Their plan hires ten people like Michelle Kurtz.
They will network the coastline in a year.
It will cost about $700,000, and the HHII steering board is working on that. They plan three phases.
The first costs about $15,000 (plus about $10,000 for the former head of the Texas Department
of Insurance to research some more specific dollar figures). The second costs about $60,000.
Both phases will be evaluated to determine whether to proceed. The third requires the rest of the
$700,000 in a lump sum. The steering committee members are looking to foundations and other sources that
can offer substantial portions of that needed amount. This board has gathered an impressive
list of signatories who will endorse a funding request made to foundations.
You can help if you know people at foundations and can open doors with them.
The "Business Plan"
A dedicated group of Alabama HHII participants are gathering and fleshing out the details of ideas for how
a special coastal catastrophic insurance district running along the coast from Mexico to Maine
should be designed and managed to best suit the consumer/family/communty.
That conversation is in the early stages. There are currently 5 ideas that are being built out.
The rule right now is to talk about all ideas, collect them on a grid, flesh them out, and
decide later which ones are best. It makes for fun conversation if anyone wants to join the
"brains" as they proceed. It's getting interesting, too, because brains from other states
will soon be joining the process.
to read a summary of the status of the discussions.
Call EMI (Dan Hanson) at 251-928-3430 if you want to get into the design conversaton.
HELP SPREAD CLARITY BILL'S REVELATIONS
YOU ALL HAVE ACCOMPLISHED AMAZING THINGS and come Nov. 1st the world will know by zip code / county what are the dollar amounts for claims and premiums. Do we deserve these premiums that are 330% - 600% higher than the state average? We will find out the answer. This will directly challenge the crazy catastrophe models that have been extracting billions out of our pockets.
AND THE NEWSPAPERS ARE NOT COVERING IT!! So that means we need to get the word out with e-mails, facebook and fliers. Please give
HHII an idea how wide we might be able to cast this net – tell us how many of your friends would read your e-mail if you marked it urgent. This needs to be a number of those close friends who take your e-mails seriously, not the blasts that are hit or miss.
HHII THE NUMBER ON YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS LIST
LEARN ABOUT DAILY LIFE IN BIBLICAL TIMES
AND HELP RAISE MONEY FOR HHII
HHII's Carol Peterson, who is a professional
tour organizer, has graciously agreed to make arrangements for a
group to visit EXPLORATIONS IN ANTIQUITIES, in LaGrange, Georgia.
EXPLORATIONS IN ANTIQUITY is a must see for everyone. More info attached.
It doesn’t matter what your religion is, history comes alive as you walk through the beginning of Judo-Christian Heritage. The tour will take you back in time as you experience the lives and life style of our biblical ancestors.
This is an interactive museum of daily life in biblical times. You have full scale archaeological replicas from antiquity, Time Tunnel Houses of Worship, Life of the Shepherd, the Farmers, Life of the village; you can experience a Passover Supper, and see an Ancient Roman Theater.
Costs range between $405 to $290 depending on how many sign up and sleeping arrangements.
Carol will forego her usual commission, so this could be a nice fundraiser for HHII.
If you would like to go, call Carol at 251-479-6962 or e-mail her at KIKICEP@aol.com.
Do NOT call Michelle or EMI. This
provides a full explanation
FACTS ABOUT COASTAL ALABAMA'S
HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE CRISIS
* This is a large file & may take some time to
download, depending on your connection speed
HHII NEEDS MORE PRESENTERS
HHII need more volunteers to present the facts about coastal
Alabama's insurance crisis to community organizations.
You will be provided a script and trained on how to use power point. Call Michelle
at 251-928-3430 if you are willing and able to help
HHII WELCOMES SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
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.
This site is maintained for HHII by Colin Keleher, who is solely
responsible for its content. In general, posts with upper case headings
originate with HHII; posts with lower case headings are aggregated from
the cited sources. Please report errors and make suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org