Former insurance commissioner addresses Impact 2010

Read MPR 12/19/2010 report of Walter Bell's remarks about CRCAL final report addressed to members of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce at their chamber’s December Impact 2010 luncheon at the Elberta Civic Center.

Gulf Coast Newspapers also reported on the address.

Updated 12/24/2010


From an email response to Walter Bell

Thanks to all of you for an excellent job.  Now, get ready to roll up your sleeves... we have to stay focused on moving this ball forward.  You have done a great job of advancing this conversation... and helping folks understand there are no easy answers.  But there are things we can do that will lead to reduced home insurance rates.  We just cannot take our feet off the gas! This is a growing affordable housing issue in the two coast counties and, therefore, an economic development issue for the entire state.

Posted 12/20/2010

Presentation of Final CRC Report

The Coastal Recovery Commission's Report Hand-Over Ceremony was held on December 15th at 2pm in the Old State House of the State Capitol in Montgomery. There, CRC presented its final report to Governor Riley and Governor-Elect Bentley. You can download the final report here.  

Updated 12/20/2010

Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama
Insurance Subcommittee of the Economic Committee

The governor appointed an 80-member Commission to study and recommend regarding BP oil spill damage (see ). The Commission has an Insurance subcommittee. It's headed by former Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell. The commitee is composed almost exclusively of insurance people. Consumer representation is completely absent. The committee met in Fairhope October 4, October 15 in Mobile, in Foley October 22, in Robertsdale October 29, and Orange Beach November 11.
Click on to read minutes of 10/4 meeting and to read Chairman Bell's presentation.  Michelle's Kurtz's remarks about the new "functionally uininsured" made it into these minutes. The Transparency bill was brought up twice, and "transparency" of the Alabama Department of Insurance in general mentioned one other time, and not a word about it in the minutes.
Minutes of the 10/15 meeting can be read at .
Minutes of the 10/22 meeting (revised 10/28) can be read at .
Presentation made by Insurance Information Institute  at 10/22 meeting .
Minutes of the 10/29 meeting can be read at .
Coastal Insurance Recomendations in grid form
Minutes of the 11/11 meeting can be read at
Final Recommendations of Insurance Subcommittee
Proposed Insurance Chapter for inclusion in Final CRC Report
Alabama CRC Mitigation Trust (See comment below)
Discussion guide visual used at 11/11 meeting

At the last meeting of the Insurance Subcommittee on November 11, despite support from Fairhope's Mayor Kant and determined insistance by HHII members that the words 'Transparency Bill' be included in these final recommendations, the Discussion Notes & Final Recommendations do not explicitly refer to a 'Transparency Bill'.  There were widely divergent views on what these words meant with at least one insurance representative stating the information HHII sought was impossible to provide.  Others equated it with making rate filings public.  Although we believe Senator McMillan, who was at the meeting, understands the intent of SB534 and may be supportive of a similar bill in the next legislative session, it is clear the insurance companies are adamently and unanimously against it.

The Alabama CRC Mitigation Trust report, work of a major reinsurance company, was NOT reviewed at the subcommittee meeting and gives every indication that the outcome of the subcommittee was preordained to stress only mitigation and ways to reduce insurance companies' risk exposure, not ways to reduce premiums!

Read letter expressing HHII's chagrin at chapter's misrepresentation of HHII's position.

To read more about the mission of the CRC, as well as some of the events that have led to this moment, check out the project website

Also read two "Insight" pieces from the Press-Register contributed by Commission members, Dauphin Island Sea Lab executive director George Crozier, and former Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell.

Here's link to George's piece; And here's where to find Walter's.

Updated 12/19/2010

Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama Recommendation on Transparency

This is a photo of the display board put out by the Governor's Coastal Recovery Commission last night in Orange Beach. About 200 people attended the public meeting. It shows how the Transparency Bill is represented. You'll see that what's on the paper has nothing to do with what was overhwelmingly agreed on in the last subcommittee meeting.  Everyone was very specific in the meeting, specifically identifying what was in the Transparency Bill and data to be collected: aggregated county-by-county or zip-code-by-zip-code, showing total dollar amounts of claims and premiums so that we can compare our costs to repair with those in the rest of the state. Going back to 1990. Michael Jo, the note-taker for the committee said he wrote the words you'll see on the large display board and that what was agreed on in the committee meeting is in the minutes. What now? Leave your comments on HHII's Discussion Forum

Posted 11/9/2010

Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama Story Board

This is the "story board" that was presented at the mid-term report of the Coastal Recovery Commission last week (10/26/2010). HHII members really need to read through it and ask yourselves if you agree with their analysis, if any of this will effect your premiums, what time frame and did they get the transparency bill right?

Click this link for a list of subcommittee members and let them hear your opinion!

There will was also be a series of public meetings where you can could give input to the committee reports. 

Reposted 11/9/2010


Michelle Kurtz made a spirited presentation on behalf of HHII before the Insurance Subcommittee October 22 highlighting the injustice of insurance premium discrepancies between the coastal counties and the rest of the state and advocating that the transparency bill (HR 713) be included as one element of the final committee recommendation.

She stressed that public involvement was not simply a 15 minute presentation before a committee but involved hours of dialogue with  individuals in affected communities.  Chairman Walter Bell reponded that everyone in the room was considered a member of the committee and free to provide their input.

Several HHII members spoke of their personal experiences and the voice vote on whether to include the transparency bill in the final recommendation was overwhelmingly carried.  Two insurance representatives were the only individuals to express negative reservations.

Most of the meeting was taken up with presentations and discussion on how to mitigate and reduce insurance companies' exposure to risk.  Many of the ideas were good but none will bring about an immediate reduction in rates.  Full minutes of the meeting will be posted on this page as soon as they are received.

Originally posted 10/23/2010

Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama

The full commission met Tuesday (10/26) to bring the first phase of the CRC process to a close and launch immediately into the next stage. The purpose of the meeting was to review what has been learned in less than 30 days. And to begin the idea-sorting task in earnest.

Big themes likely to emerge include the hot topic of affordable insurance, the concern about reconciling perceptions and realities when it comes to the health of the Gulf and the safety of our seafood, and the evolving regional perspective.

Minutes of the meeting will be published on this page as soon as they are received.

Posted 10/26/2010

This page last updated 12/24/2010