As happy as I was to report A Public Adjuster Wins a Seat in the Florida House of Representatives, I was saddened to learn of Gene Taylor‘s defeat. Slabbed reported the story in Election 2010 Fallout: Media From Across the Country Weigh in on Gene Taylor’s Election Loss.
The attempts by Mississippi’s Gene Taylor to craft an insurance product that fully covers hurricane losses seems to be having trouble, but not because Gene Taylor is not trying. While the House of Representatives passed a bill supported by Taylor which includes coverage for the perils of wind and storm surge into one policy, one Republican Senator offered a compromise bill which does not accomplish that but merely proposes a different method of dispute resolution. As reported in the National Underwriter, both Taylor and the insurance industry think the compromise legislation does not work.
Mississippi Representative Gene Taylor successfully placed language into House Bill H.R. 1264—“the Multiple Peril Insurance Act”— which would require “Write Your Own” insurers participating in the National Flood Program to remove anti-concurrent causation language from their all risk insurance policies. Taylor’s house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. Many of his neighbors’ insurance claims were denied based on the continuing wind versus flood insurance coverage controversy which I noted recently in Texas Windstorm Insurer Settles 2,400 Hurricane Ike Slab Claims.
Coastal Mississippi policyholders are well served by the daily and in depth reporting by Slabbed. Writing daily for this blog is time consuming; posting two to five in-depth discussions each day must border on a full time job. Lately, Slabbed’s posts have highlighted two important issues regarding insurance coverage and insurance coverage litigation in Mississippi. One, if insurance companies want to pay nothing under the all-risk policy because of the anti-concurrent causation clause, a new form policy is needed–even if the government has to sponsor it. Two, the insurance industry is winning the lawsuits in Southern Mississippi because they are winning the discovery battle over key information.
Mark Phillips recently posted a comment in Surplus Lines Insurers, Sinkholes, and the Law of Mars, which would probably terminate his employment as an adjuster for telling the truth if he were still an Independent Adjuster:
"I handled numerous loss adjustments for a South Florida MGA broker who had arranged his own "excess surplus lines" authority overseas. Due to this flexible "hand-shake" authority and with his own customized and approved manuscripted policy designs, he was actually controlling the underwriting data and policy issuance. He was bold and daring enough to "check off" certain boxes misrepresenting building characteristics and histories inaccurately on applications, so that, at time of loss investigation he could promptly deny coverage when it was noted in the adjusting routine that certain building events and maintenances had not occurred as were required to be validated in order to acquire the policy coverage and issuance. He could thus accurately void the contract on grounds of misrepresentation, and have the underwriting questionnaire in the file to back up the denial. His incentive was of course to sustain his flexible contract arrangement and limit his loss ratios, thus enriching his commission contingencies. Worth noting is that many of the insureds represented a class of Hispanic consumers who had no ability to know what was authentically being stated on their final application and were thus caught by surprise when struggling to communicate in English, back to me the adjuster, that they had not confirmed certain property realities that had been "checked off" on their application.
Another compromised policyholder left at the curb."
An article in the Insurance Journal, National Flood Insurance Program Set to Expire Tomorrow, caught my eye. I think the threat of expiration is political gamesmanship, as indicated in the piece:
“John Prible, government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, says the omnibus bill funding is currently being