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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
A Baldwin County Homeowner expresses his feelings
As a part of Alabama coastal county homeowners I am trying to cope with our insanely high homeowner’s insurance premiums and deductible rates. October 21st I learned from the newly released facts of the Clarity Law that requires homeowner insurance companies to report by zip code the amount of money they received in premiums and the amount they paid in claims. For 2013 Baldwin County homeowner’s paid $89 million in premiums and received $9.3 million in claims paid – pretty large difference! In Mobile County homeowner’s paid $145 million in premiums and received only $35 million in claims paid– Wow an even larger difference. (For an unknown reason ADOI pulled these numbers off line soon after they were released). To make matters worse instead of the typical $1,000 deductible that all Alabama homeowners have, the folks in the two coastal counties now pay a 2% to 10% deductible based on the value of their home that they must pay BEFORE insurance policy payment. This amounts is many thousands dollars that typical families do not have in their cash reserves. Of course this makes them UNINSURED in the real world.
Looks absurdly excessive to me but the official stand of the Alabama Department of insurance top management is that the coastal counties are not paying enough! The ADOI assumes worst case multiple major hurricanes for the Alabama coast every year for losses, clearly this will never happen. Since 2007 with the blessing of the Alabama Insurance Commission, coastal homeowner’s have been ripped-off, gouged, incredibly over charged by 300% to 600%.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Governor Bentley appoints the top management of the ADOI and has “studied” the outrageous problem with various panels made up of mainly insurance folks. Not surprising little relief has resulted other than to build or up-grade to stronger homes. Again, of course it is quite hard to upgrade when you are forced to spend extremely high amounts for insurance, especially for deductibles. Please contact Governor Bentley and request he appoint consumer oriented top management immediately to the ADOI. Alabama Law statutes states that rates must not be: * Excessive to consumer, *Inadequate to the Industry, *UNFAIRLY DISCRIMINATORY. Governor Bentley himself stated on 710 AM in Mobile on September 30, 2014 Uncle Henry radio morning show concerning this subject that “IT IS UNFAIR THE WAY IT IS DONE.” I feel Governor Bentley should therefore replace the present ADOI top management who are obviously and negligently not following the existing laws of the state and certainly are not fairly representing Coastal Alabama. Governor Bentley should also validate HHII’s data.
The 800 pound gorilla in the corner presently being ignored is the crisis that will occur in the mortgage and real estate markets when thousands of home owners walk away from their storm damaged homes because they cannot fund repairs!
Governor Bentley – phone 334-242-7100 fax 334-353-0004 email fill out form on his website. http://governor.alabama.gov/contact.
HHII MEETS WITH COASTAL 'MOVERS & SHAKERS'
HHII members continue to meet with local people of influence to
make them aware of how the Clarity Law data has exposed the
discriminatory, unjust and excessive cost of coastal insurance.
They have included, among others, Fairhope Mayor Kant and City Councilman Jack Burrell,
County Commissioner Chris Elliott and The League of Women Voters (LWV), Baldwin
County. HHII appreciates the time and attention it received from
these busy people and the efforts of those who made the meetings
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 MEETS WITH COASTAL LEGISLATORS
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.”
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.
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