Mississippi State Senator David Baria admitted that his proposed legislative bill of rights for policyholders is “dead.” Mississippi S.B. 2196 would have eliminated anticoncurrent causation exclusionary language from property insurance policies. The Mississippi Senate Insurance Committee failed to act on the bill, thereby killing any attempt to enact a bill of rights.
Unlike other states, the insurance industry dominates Mississippi’s Republican party. Accordingly, I was not surprised when the Mississippi Senate killed the bill. Until the Mississippi Republican party frees itself of the very anti-consumer mind set of insurance industry lobbyists or Mississippi changes the balance of power back to the Democratic party, it will be very difficult to achieve meaningful insurance reform there.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner, Mike Chaney, has his own regulatory version, which is supported by the insurance industry. Julie Pulliam, the director of public affairs (a lobbyist manager) for the American Insurance Association thinks Chaney’s “Policyholder Bill of Rights” strikes the right balance. The one thing I have learned from going head to head in politics with the insurance industry is if they think something is the “right balance,” then it is bad for policyholders.
It appears that the insurance lobby may have a friend in Mike Chaney. It is obvious they have strong allies with the Mississippi Legislature. It is a shame that some of the nicest people and many lifelong friends have leaders so committed to helping an industry forcefully against their long term economic interests. It makes little common sense. But again, that’s politics.