Robert Hartwig is the current leading propagandist for the insurance industry’s lobbying efforts in the United States. His current propaganda piece, It’s Not just The Weather: The Man-Made Crises Roiling Property Insurance Markets, lays out the insurance industry’s targets and objectives for the upcoming legislative sessions in 2023.

Hartwig’s lobbying efforts will focus on California, Louisiana, and Florida. While these three states have actuarially been pummeled by severe hurricanes or wildfires, his objectives focus on changes to the legal system by preventing lawsuits, lessening consumer rights, fighting restoration contractors, and reducing government regulation over the insurance industry. Lawyers, contractors, and regulators looking out for policyholders seem to be in the crosshair of Hartwig’s formidable and effective lobbying machine.

Like all good propaganda, there are truths in the paper. There is also the overstated and false narrative that needs to be studied and countered.

Pay Up! warns about these dangers and its lobbying propagandists:

The industry has no reservations about paying these lobbyists top dollar. By investing a few million dollars into a judicial election campaign, State Farm was able to see a $ 1 billion judgment against them overturned, at least temporarily, and what amounted to an over three-hundredfold return on their investment. You can’t get returns like that anywhere else, and so insurance companies are happy to invest millions of dollars into lobbying for their agenda.

That would be fine if their agenda was pro-consumer, but it’s not. The insurance industry is hell-bent on paying less in claims, the consumer be damned, and will lobby hard against laws that might hold it accountable for wrongdoing.

The propaganda machine does not mention the thousands of policyholders who were ripped off by the zeroing out of claims initiative in Florida, the Jewish lawyer list in California, or the flagrant delay of claims in Louisiana. Why isn’t Hartwig writing about the silence of the insurance industry warning its customers about the dangers from smoke following wildfires?

Still, if edited, I agree with the following findings:

…insurers need…confidence they can operate in the admitted market in a financially solvent manner. To accomplish this, lawmakers and regulators must strike a…balance between affordability for consumers and the rate adequacy needs of insurers. Insurers must be given flexibility to collect adequate premiums reflective of the exposure.

…. While climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters, communities must be hardened to withstand natural catastrophes. Stronger homes, built for the local risks, should result in a meaningful decrease in future expected losses, enabling insurers to continue to provide affordable and available coverage for consumers.

Insurance is a social product. Regulations exist in part to prevent the insurance industry from cannibalizing itself. We long ago learned lessons about how the insurance industry acts when not regulated. Now, the insurance industry wants to control regulation to ensure profits with no accountability for its own wrongdoing.

Now that you are aware of what the insurance lobby is trying to do, the question for those reading this post is, what can you do to stand up to it, and will you take that action?

Thought For The Day

We have to stop the propaganda, the shameful propaganda used by Kremlin to rehabilitate these old types.
—Garry Kasparov