Group says Coastal Band would cut wind,
flood premiums

From 11/18/2013 article by Anita Lee posted on

If Coast residents want lower property insurance rates, along with prompt and fair payment of claims, they must push for change, members of a grass roots group founded in Alabama told 40 people gathered Monday night at First United Methodist Church.

The Homeowners' Hurricane Insurance Initiative, a coalition of more than 50 churches in Baldwin and Mobile counties, is exploring creation of a nonprofit wind insurance entity that would cover a 17-state Coastal Band 70 miles deep, from Texas to Maine. A congressional act or interstate compact would establish the entity to collect premiums and pay hurricane wind claims, with private insurers continuing to cover other losses.

HHII is also considering the addition of flood insurance to the proposal.

At Monday night's meeting, attendees talked about the high cost of property insurance -- when they can even get quotes.

Builder Jimmy Levens said he was given a quote of $36,000 per year for $500,000 in flood coverage on a restaurant under construction, which he was able to knock down to $15,000 by making some construction changes. But the policy covers the structure only during construction. A quote on the post-construction price will have to wait until the building is finished, he said. The floor will sit 37 feet above sea level.

The Rev. Steve Mooneyham, executive director of the Gulf Coast Baptist Association, said some member churches are going without insurance, while others are self insured, because the cost is so high.

Michelle Kurtz, community consultant with HHII, said the high cost of wind insurance has cut into her family's budget, with no relief in sight.

HHII believes wind insurance premiums in the Coastal Band could be cut in half and still create a surplus.

Private insurance companies, Kurtz told the group, are spending premiums overseas for reinsurance, coverage they buy from for-profit companies to help pay catastrophic losses.

The National Flood Insurance Program, which has been in debt since Katrina, is spending only 44 percent of premiums collected to pay claims, Kurtz told the crowd. NFIP pays private insurance companies 30 percent of premiums as commissions and servicing costs, she said.

HHII already is networking with other coastal states on joining together for affordable insurance. The group is hoping to enlist volunteers on the Mississippi Coast who would spread the HHII message and try to get politicians on board. Policy makers, members said, have been slow to back change.

"You can't sit back, relax and let other people do it," HHII's Earl Janssen of Foley told the assembly. "It won't get done. You'll have to do it."

Posted 11/20/2013


Florida has had a burst of activity in Panama City where Richard Papantonio has brought together three pastors who have started the Greater Panama City Organization (GPCO-II). Richard heads up GPCO in Pensacola.

The group met with FL. Sen. Gates briefly last week. Sen. Gates indicated that he was on board with exploring the Coastal Band and will have a longer meeting with GPOC-II. GPCO-II is planning a large community outreach for this Fall.

Posted 8/15/2013


Morning meeting with Long Beach mayor and aldermen was fantastic. HHII will have a planning meeting with the aldermen in late August for a large community outreach to educate MS citizens on the two strategic solutions.

The afternoon meeting with three MS Representatives was a challenge, but they are open to exploring the feasibility of a Coastal Band Reinsurance Entity.

We are grateful to Patti Van Iderstine for opening the doors for us in Long Beach, her home town where her father was the fire chief!!

Also, the Steps Coalition put in tons of time setting up appointments for GCECHIMC and Rep. Faust so that it was a very profitable day.

Posted 8/12/2014


All kinds of activity in Louisiana with the Homebuilders Association and the Realtors.

We will be traveling to Baton Rouge on Aug. 14 to meet with the Center for Planning Excellence by invitation of Congressional Legislator Mary Landrieu.

In the making is a presentation to the Board of the New Orleans Homebuilders' Association and a stakeholders meeting with “grasstops” organizations all on the same day in late August.

This is all leading to a large community outreach to educate LA citizens on the two strategic solutions. Our sister organizations, Appleseed and BISCO have been making ground.

Posted 8/12/2014

Multi-state call July 2, 2013

On the multi-state call, GCECHIC – Gulf Coast East Coast Homeowners' Insurance Coalition settled on a common message as to what we are about.

50% of the weight of the message is about B-W and 50% about a sustainable solution to wind and flood – the Coastal Band.

Because there is variance within the coalition as to what to say about B-W (repeal, slow down or pass but fix specifics) each organization can say – something like, “Deal with B-W, which means ….”

So the common message is something like:
Deal with B-W now (repeal, slow down or pass but fix specifics) to ease the pain and also develop a sustainable solution that will re-set the coastal wind and flood insurance – a non-profit Coastal Reinsurance Entity.

Just to give you all some confidence, even though our research is preliminary, this is the general direction that experts say is the right way to go. There maybe tweaks, but generally keeping billions in a non-profit, managed to pay flood and cat wind claims is the concept. See attached concept paper. We have discussed this idea w. two leading authorities: John Forney, who worked w. Raymond James setting up 9 state catastrophe insurance options. Also, Robert Hunter, who administrated NFIP, and was the Texas Commissioner of Insurance. Attached are two of Hunter's reports to the Federal Insurance Office. The paper is laid out to first describe the best case scenario, then principles that need to be used to fix the cat insurance problems and then short term solutions. Look at page 9 - Hunter describes something like what we are saying w. the coastal band.

Posted 10/13/2013

Multi-state call March 5, 2013

There were 12 people on the line and 5 states were represented.

Update from the states

1. La reported on a meeting w. La Dept. of Ins and an upcoming mtg. That will happen on Monday w. two LA State Representatives, maybe three, the president of the LA Homebuilders, the chair of the Plaquamine Parish economic development council, the president of Plaquamine Parish.

2.  Al reported on a meeting w. AL Dept. of Ins. And a good meeting w. a AL State Representative.

3.  SC reported on a flurry of state level activities and a concern about the increases premiums on the NFIP – same concern was echoed by La.

Discussion on what the workshop will be about in Biloxi, April 9 & 10. 

1. There is a commitment from AL, MS and LA to be present

2.  Click to see proposed agenda – please comment.

3.  Please make reservations on your own.  Recommended location

Posted 3/22/2013

Multi-state call February 19, 2013

1. 10 people participated in the call, seven states represented and a total of 15 people listened in according to the Free Conferencing report.

2. March 19 & 20th, it was decided is coming up too fast.  Face to face meeting moved to April 9 & 10 in Biloxi

*   Let's make an agenda on the next call. I will take a stab at it and send one our for you all to make better soon.

*   In order to make this meeting profitable, what homework do we need to do? Also, I will be glad to take a stab at it and send one our for you all to make better soon.

3.  Amy Bach, United Policyholders, gave an update on the survey. So far we have 570 and our hope is to double it. I suggest that you re-send and remind people to forward this link to all their e-lists and to other organizations. The link will stay viable till March 15th. The purpose of the survey is to show that this IS a national problem and the data will strengthen our call for reform. This is something your e-friends can do for the cause in just 5 minutes!

4.  Everyones e-mail, (not listed in minutes) please feel free to send everyone important documents.

5.  I know I offered to make reservations, but I would ask that you make your own. I have asked Seashore United Methodist Retreat Center (228-436-6767 ask for Lora Leigh Ward) to hold two suites (4 males and 4 females at $100 per suite, which is only $25 each). If you want to be one of those foursomes, call LLW. They also have nice single rooms at $60 a night or there are plenty of hotels near by.

*   Travel to Biloxi from the New Orleans Airport is about 1.5 hours. Probably, we will meet just down the road at the Steps Coalition (610 Water St Biloxi, MS 39530 (228) 435-3113)

Poated 2/21/2013

Multi-state call February 5, 2013

1. Those who attended the call on Feb. 5th:

AC Legget, Joe Green, Dan Hanson, Michelle Kurtz – AL, Homeowners' Hurricane Insurance Initiative

Richard Popantonio – FL, Greater Pensacola Churches

Dorothy Tinsler – MS, Steps Coalition

Willo Kelly – NC, NC-20

Tania – LA, Plaquimne Parish

Andy Twisdale – SC,

David Gauthie – LA, BISCO, Bayou

2.  Please pencil in March 19 & 20th and Michelle will talk to Roberta Avila of Steps Coalition in Biloxi to see if this works for her and if we can use their meeting rooms. There is a Methodist retreat house that has nice rooms. Take a look – it is very reasonable and has beach access!! TELL ME RIGHT AWAY IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH AND I WILL CALL FOR RESERVATIONS. It is even cheaper if there is a group


3.  Please take a look at and on their home page you can look at agendas from previous years to get a feel about what they focus on. I reviewed their agendas back to 2010 and did not find homeowners insurance - NOT AT ALL!! The chair for Mobile's conference is Mike Hubbard of Auburn, AL.

The SLC’s mission

 The SLC’s mission is to foster and encourage intergovernmental cooperation among its 15-member states. In large measure this is achieved through the meetings, publications and policy positions of the Conference’s six standing committees. Committee members are appointed by their chamber’s legislative leadership and each committee elects its own officers. Through the deliberations of Committee members, an array of issues facing all Southern state legislatures are considered.

Founded in 1947

The Southern Legislative Conference is the largest of four regional legislative groups operating under The Council of State Governments and comprises the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

4.  Here are the phrases we have been tossing around to describe our common problem. Once this settles, then we can start brainstorming the solutions. How's that? Anything to add?

Geographic redlining Increasing deductibles

Increasing premiums compared to losses

Less choice of companies

Dept. of Insurance is not doing their job of protecting the consumer

the accuracy of the catastrophe models is highly questionable and distort the coastal vs. inland losses

State and Federal legislators are not proactive in enforcing existing laws

5. Lisa, of Money Magazine is looking for stories about policyholders thinking they were covered for cat wind, but then finding out that they are actually not. Feel free to contact her and tell her that HHII sent you her way.

6.  Please keep on pushing the survey because it will be a powerful tool. Can you imagine if we had at least 50 stories from each state!! Please forward this link to all your e-lists: No insurance companies are involved in this initiative.

Posted 2/8/2013

Multi-state call January 22, 2013

The last call went very well. We had nine people call in with five states represented. We also started to sort out what it is that all of our states have as common ground.

Tthe phrases were:

Geographic redlining Increasing deductibles

Increasing premiums compared to losses

Less choice of companies

Dept. of Insurance is not doing their job of protecting the consumer

State and Federal legislators are not proactive in enforcing existing laws

Then we spent time going over the survey that Amy launched this week. Paula in MA mentioned that the Consumer Federation of America will be meeting in Washington March 13 - 15th and wondered if that would be a good time to meet.

Paula suggested that we all research the powers of the (yikes – was it the DOI or the attorney General in the rate making process – weak mind syndrome - sorry)

We shared observations of what we saw developing in our own states (Willo sent the attached article on consent to rate FYI) and agreed to talk again on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 3pm Central

Posted 2/1/3013

Multi-state call January 8, 2013

15 people, eight states represented

We agreed to fill out the United Policyholders test version of the survey.

Amy, with United Policyholders asked that we notify her if we want to be listed as partners in this endeavor. We are hoping that the survey will be useful in countering the barrage of numbers that the industry puts out. (

Click here to read the article that the Wall Street Journal put out on us Jan. 3, 2013 – the Gulf Coast / East Coast Homeowners Insurance Coalition. 

It was suggested that we send to Michelle our goals for or what would be valuable about a coastal coalition, plus a little bit about our organization, our skill sets and our connections with power.

For our next call – suggestion:

What if we talked about why a multi-state effort would be valuable to you and what are some common areas that we have that we could support each other in pursuing? Maybe we could then have a list of topics that we may have in common and want to discuss, one topic per call w. suggested reading before hand.




For example:

Why a multi-state coalition would be valuable to HHII because in other discussions where insurance industry people or legislators have been involved, the conversation got closed down and we could not even get the challenges on the table. So, if informed consumers could be dedicated to listen, research and explore ways to solve the insurance problem, HHII would be happy to give this coalition time and energy. We are putting an option on the table to get the conversation started. We may end up regional, or a band from Mexico to Maine. We may end up just cat wind or all perils. We may end up non-governmental or governmental. But the main goal is to dialogue – give and take – research and come back to the table. I would like to be able to say that there is a group of 20 organizations from the coastal states who are committed to exploring this problem and then we will act.

About HHII: started 5 years ago under the umbrella of All Churches Together, a 20 year old organization. First we worked to make affordability and avaialbility of homeowners' insurance an issue w. local legislators, county commissioners and city councils. Then we moved to influence AL legislators and the Governor. We do this thru community forums, action research meetings and we are having local grassroots meeting that reach about 3000 people on a regular basis, face to face or e-mail contact. We are now working the same above pattern in Mississippi and Louisiana because they are close and there are churches and grassroots organizations of like mind.

Skill set: grassroots organizing, speaking publicly and over the phone, getting community input

Connections with power: votes trump power, so our power is in our relationships, our network of churches. Its contacts include the Alabama Governor, state sens, reps and various county and municipal elected officials. By this we mean that they know who we are, and we have met with each of them several times. But I would not say that they are beholden to HHII.

Topics that we may have in common: unified plain language in policies, verification of risk particular to each state in cat models, other interstate compacts, building codes

Posted 1/16/2013

Multi-state call December 12, 2012

Great call, you all!!
There were eight state represented - AL, LA, MS, NC, SC, MA, CA and FL.
Next conference call will be Jan. 8th at 3pm Central time.
Our agenda was:

Opening Prayer



Rules of engagement
 -no decisions today, just collecting ideas
 -assume we can talk things thru, try not to leave the "table"
 -be brief -the focus is to do what is best for the families
 -separate the economic challenges from the political challenges

Description of multi-state / coastal band for cat wind

Principles - we did not get too far on this

Next steps
Next conference call will be Jan. 8th at 3pm Central time. I will send out the conference numbers and reminders.

We agreed that we would digest Dr. Hunter's report and feel free to reply all and share your thoughts.

Amy Bach, United Policyholders will develop a form to collect the common factors of this crisis so that we have a clear picture of this crisis.

In our next conference call we will talk about what a face to face meeting in late March/early April needs to look like in order to be worth the time and effort. What kind of preparation do we need to do? And who else or what other group needs to be with us?

Posted 12/11/2012

Minutes of Multi-state Meeting in Biloxi October 25, 2012

1. Oct. 25 in Biloxi five states represented by five grassroots organizations, plus three citizens from MS were present.

2. We met with city councilman Bill Stallworth at 9am who said he was 100% behind the concept of the multi-state (see below) and will help us to open doors wherever he can. We will be in touch with him.

3.  Crady from the National Center for Inter-state Compacts conferenced in and gave us the basics on compacts for 30 minutes. Details below.

4.  Roberta Avila led us in beginning thoughts on structuring a campaign. Below are beginning thoughts on mission and goals – please give input. We agreed that we need to have another meeting dedicated to strategizing. (handouts below) I commend these handouts to you. They would be worth your time to give you ideas as to where we hope we are going with this.

5.  Dan Hanson gave an explanation of the multi-state entity three times on Oct. 25, see a shortened version below. And the first draft of the goals follow for your input. It was agreed that the language needed to be more concrete.

6.  David Gauthe did a training on research meetings and ordered our agenda for the research meeting with Congressman Palazzo’s representative. Great job!!

7.  Congressman Palazzo's (CP) staff person Fred Sullivan showed up at 2:15 and stayed one hour. We had disciplined, assertive deliberation. He could not absolutely speak for the Congressman, but said that Congressman Palazzo was basically for looking into multi-state solutions, though, leery of solutions that would involve more government. He could see possibilities for the Clarity Law (to read the text of the law, see attached) at the Federal level for the Gulf coast / East coast. Richard, is there anything you would like to add, because you did a thorough job of summarizing at the meetings.

8.  The four organizations present agreed and submitted a joint letter of inquiry for the Gulf Coast Fund. Pray that our letter will be seen in a favorable light so that we can really do what it takes to FIX this crisis.

9.  Next steps – meet in Biloxi when Howard can secure an appt. w. Congressman Palazzo and maybe a ½ day in Louisiana at the same time.

10.If we are correct in estimating that some sort of multi-state insurance / re-insurance entity collecting just the wind premium, in just the coastal areas (50 - 70 miles inland) wrapping from Maine to the Mexican boarder, could collect $8 - 20 billion a year, we would have the cost covered of Sandy, plus everything else that happened this year. BECAUSE REMEMBER we are seeking solutions for just wind losses, not flood, not loss of business and not losses outside of the coastal band. But without the Clarity bill we don't know for sure. We are seeing huge numbers, but maybe we need the Clarity Bill at the Federal level so coastal America will not be blamed, and therefore have to pay for the entire monster!!

More details:

1. Participants

*    from MS: Roberta Avila and Howard Paige

*    from Steps Coalition, Rev. Margarita Swetman, Dorothy Tinsler, Rob & Mary Paul Bahm

*    from LA – David Gauthe of Bayou Interfaith Shared Churches Organizations

*   from FL – Richard Papantonio, director of Grarter Pensacola Churches Organization and on the phone Heather Carruther, commissioner of Monroe County, FL, President of FIRM

*    from AL – Rev. Brown, Johnny Chaney, Michelle Kurtz, Dan Hanson, director of ACT-II, HHII – Homeowners's Hurricane Insurance Initiative, AC & Leon Legget by phone

*    from NC – Willo Kelly director of NC-20 

2.  Great insights from Councilman Stallworth (paraphrased)

*   Need to keep our solutions from pitting one part of the state against the other because the rates will go up in other parts of the state, so work in a way that can take more of the state in.

*   Clarity law would give us the ground to defend why we want change. After the hurricanes there was a slight down turn, but it seems to take 10 years to get halfway down from the peaks in premiums, never pre-hurricane rates and then another storm hits.

*   Need to educate the consumers. We need to get the solution to them in a manner they can grasp because the legislators don't know what to do.

*   We are up against a huge giant because now corporations can act as “people” and drop lots of money into their efforts.

*   We need to eliminate ways that the industry is able to operate in the dark.

*   He did give us names and said that by e-mail he will give us names of pastors.

3. Useful links about interstate compacts:

*   Nat'l Center for Inter-state compacts

*   Examples of insurance related compacts

*   Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact

*   Interstate Insurance Receivership Compact

*   Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-State Compliance Compact

*   As the conversation went on, in a polite manner, Crady, let it be known that he could not work for charity and that he could only help w. the structure of the agreement, not the specifics around insurance. Compacts operate as contract law, so a lot of ground may be covered w. consultation w. good lawyers. With compacts, all states have to adopt the same language, and the legislators have to vote it into law.

4.  Explanation of the multi-state band/ compact:

*   Numerous possibilities arise amidst multi-state thinking. One possibility imagines a special catastrophic wind insurance district that is about 70 miles deep from the beaches and runs from the Mexican border to Maine. Risk is spread throughout this premium-rich coastal band.

*   Without Clarity Law data from each state along the coastal border, it’s only possible to guess about numbers. But an educated estimate suggests companies collect about $8 - 15 billion a year in hurricane premiums alone in just this part of the coastline.

*   If an average Category 3 storm did $2 billion in wind damage in the coastal counties in this band, the current premium structure could afford 3-4 such storms a year, every year.

*   Politically, since the coastal band is a coastal strategy that affects only the coast, it should be of no concern to inland homeowners. Private insurance companies would continue to sell the “umbrella” policies (fire, liability...)

*   In order to make progress this initiative has to led by informed, grassroots consumers and church leadership with the insurance industry and the legislators as advisors.

Goals of
Significant reduction in premiums;
Reliability of Insurance Companies;
Just payment of claims;
Sustainable solutions like mitigation, but affordable

*   Avila Handouts

   Models of Coalitions Drawings

   3 elements of success

   Campaign Planning Worksheet

   Brief on Rep. Palazzo

Posted 11/3/2012

Gulf-Coast-East-Coast Grassroots Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Coalition (GCECGHHIC) -- September 25, 2012 multi-state committee meeting

Four states were represented by four grassroots organizations at the Biloxi meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 25th. It was unanimously agreed that GCECGHHIC would focus its efforts a multi-state insurance / reinsurance strategy. The exact nature, whether it be a Federal entity or an inter state compact, we don't know right now, but our research will determine.  It was also agreed that each state would work independently on passage of the Clarity Law (see attached), which was passed by the 2012 Alabama legislature, submitted to the 2012 Louisiana legislature - died in committee and the Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance publicly, at the America's Wetland conference in Spring of 2012 agreed that he would support this same Clarity Bill.

Mitigation was briefly discussed and it was agreed that the insurance industry is fully behind this as a solution, so they will make mitigation happen and we needed to focus our limited resources on a multi-state entity. We will support a type of “Marshal plan” approach to robust funding of mitigation and we will work toward an ethical implementation of mitigation so that there is fairness to the whole community.

We also had a great report from Joe Green (AL) on his research on FEMA - $95 Billion in payouts due to Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan. We discussed the positives and negatives, and mapped out next steps for further research.

We set the date of Oct. 25 as a tentative next meeting – all day with three separate activities:

A pre-meeting and research meeting with a MS congressperson

A conference call or face to face with a group of lawyers

A strategy session to map out this campaign

Posted 10/4/2012

Minutes of Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative (HHII) the Alabama contingent of the
Gulf-Coast-East-Coast Grassroots Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Coalition (GCECGHHIC)
September 11, 2012 multi-state committee meeting

Conclusions and Next Steps

The committee decided to:

1. Pursue research and development of a multi-state, coastal insurance compact/ entity that fixes the coastal hurricane insurance crisis throughout the Eastern Coastal United States.

2.  Recommend that this be the focus of the full multi-state initiative when the Gulf Coast states hold their next multi-state meeting September 26 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

3. Arrange a series of research phone calls to be held with experts on the subject at both the next Alabama committee meeting and also at the next full multi-state meeting.

4. Send the minutes of the meeting to Mrs. Jill Boxler, the insurance policy person Alabama Governor Bentley appointed to work closely with the Alabama contingent, in addition to sending them to all the national participants in the multi-state initiative/ coalition and posting them on the Alabama initiative’s web page.

5. Tentatively set the next Alabama committee meeting for Sept 25 – contingent on arranging a phone conversation with national experts regarding multi-state insurance compacts.

6. Enhance multi-state participation from coastal counties around the Eastern part of the United States.


The committee took a brief report concerning the HHII meeting with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley in July 23 and then reviewed three solution strategies for their power to fix the coastal hurricane insurance crisis:

1. The recently-passed Alabama Clarity Act which requires insurance company annual premium and loss data published cumulatively by zip code. The law’s primary impact is confined to the states that pass it. The data would be useful in developing a multi-state strategy if all coastal states in the eastern United States had a similar law. But, it was viewed as being primarily a state more-so than a multi-state strategy, and so should not be the primary focus of a multi-state coalition.

2. Mitigation, the hardening of coastal housing against hurricane damage, is being pushed by insurance companies, and so needs little additional assistance from a multi-state initiative. Nothing short of a modern Marshall Plan with similar funding will have significant impact on premiums. The committee believed a multi-state initiative could assist a Marshall Plan Mitigation strategy by focusing multi-state, grassroots energy on FEMA and Congress regarding funding and administrative oversight. Additionally, a healthy Mitigation strategy has certain ethical problems and the multi-state initiative could also assist in setting right the ethical dimension of a mitigation strategy. The committee believed that the multi-state initiative should devote the minimum attention necessary to this strategy.

3. Multi-State Coastal Band, Catastrophic Hurricane Insurance Quasi-government Reinsurance Pool. The committee estimated that the hurricane premiums collected in a coastal band from Mexico through Maine are more than enough to fund needed annual hurricane repairs in such a pool, cut coastal insurance costs in dramatically, and still have money left over. The committee discussed the political and self-interest dynamics that neutralize public and elected state officials who dabble at working on this sort of entity.The Committee discussed limiting where houses could be built so as not to encourage high risk locations; perhaps this is an extension of mitigation.

The committee did not pursue a detailed design of the multi-state reinsurance entity – it might be a non-profit, a quasi-government multi-state compact, a special part of FEMA, or other -- but the committee expressed unanimous belief that this is the solution strategy that the Gulf-Coast-East-Coast Coalition should pursue most aggressively. It determined that the next steps in that direction would be those listed above.

Updated 9/25/2012


Ten regional community and national consumer organizations recently joined in a telephone conference call to explore the possibilities of the power of linking up in a national coalition to break the power of the insurance industry lobbyists and bring about a just solution to the coastal insurance crisis.

Some of the concerns which surfaced during the discussions as to how a national coalition could be useful to our organizations:

Educating the public
Push to make the models public info
Effect change in the relationship between reinsurance, rating companies and the effects on consumers
Push for an intervention process for every state
Expose the link between insurance contributions and our legislators Uniform policies

Every social justice issue hits a tipping point where those who lived in despair rise up and say no more!  Could it be that the first conference call of ten regional/national organizations working to bring justice to homeowners insurance is a harbinger of a focused, powerful coalition that can effect change?
Are we hitting the tipping point?

If you live in Mobile or Baldwin Counties, HHII (Homeowners' Hurricane Insurance Initiative) is your regional organization.  Look in column at left to see how you can participate and in column at right for an HHII meeting near you.

In addition to HHII, organizations participating include:

NC-20 (North Carolina coastal counties)
Consumer Watchdog
United Policy Holders
Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organization
Steps Coalition
Equity and Inclusion Campaign
Consumer Federation of America
Citizens for (MA) Homeowners Insurance Reform

Click on any name to find out more and GET INVOLVED!

Posted 5/7/2011

Records of Inter-State Calls and Meetings

Six grass roots organizations from five states have joined together to share their ideas on how to find solutions to homeowners' insurance crisis through telephone calls and in person conferences.  The first conference call was held on January 13 and the first in person conference was held in Biloxi, MS. April 7.
You can read records of these calls and meetings by clicking on the date links at right.

Notes from multi-state meeting on April 7, 2010

Quick reference:
Next call – April 21 at 9am Central
2 day conference planned tentatively for June 23 & 24 – location to be decided
Did we set another face-to-face planning meeting in Biloxi?

It was great to meet a few of us & I felt we really clicked and worked well together.  Many thanks for all of you who took the time and to Bob and Roberta for putting together such a nice lunch!!

After a round of introductions, we quickly got in to the difficulties that the states of AL, MS and LA were facing in regards to
homeowners’ insurance.  We agreed that we are facing a crippling disaster and we need to awaken our communities.  Our politicans need us to plow through the political deadlocks and pave the way for them. 

Proposed agenda for the face to face 2 day conference on June 23 and 24

  1. Share dimensions of the pain

  2. How things currently work in your state and how they should be working, for example:
    1. Availability of insurance, state of the market
    2. Transparency of the DOI
    3. Is there a wind vs. water shuffle with claims
  3. Examples of model legislation and policies for consumers
    1. Policyholders bill of rights
    2. Al’s transparency bill
    3. 5 bills by Senator Ben Brooks
  4. List options for each state and choose a way forward
    1. Map out the next steps

Anything else?

Information to gather from each location:

  1. Number of coastal counties vs. the rest of the counties in the state and population and what percentage of the State general budget comes from the revenues of the coastal counties?
  2. Average premium for the state for a particular house, costing 150K (as valued by the insurance companies)
  3. Is your Commissioner of Insurance elected?
  4. What legislation has submitted to the House and the Senate. Which got to the floor and passed?
  5. Number of uninsured households
  6. Total dollar amount of premiums collected, either by zip code or county and compare how the coastal counties are with the rest of the State
  7. Total dollar amount of claims collected by zip or county and compare how the coastal counties are compared with the rest of the State.

I think a good source would be to call your DOI and if they can’t tell you then ask them who should know. Maybe a State rep or senator.  On the next call let’s compare notes

Anything else?

Attached is a resolution that we are working on to submit to AL house and senate.  If you have time, could you critique it and let us know if you all might have a way of supporting this kind of action in your state.

We have just decided to have a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum!  You all are welcome to join us May 22, in the evening.

We will be talking next week.  Let me know if you will be on the call.  I have to get the telephone info approved, so I will send it out on Monday.


Summary of April 27 call

Real good conversation this morning!

In the call were: Grace, Antwyn, Criag, Bob, Zack, Tom, Seth, Stan, Dan and Michelle

We decided to have another planning meeting in Biloxi on May 5, Wednesday from 10 – 1pm. This time, we need everyone to RSVP to Michelle so Bob can buy the right amount of food by May 3(please bring $10).

We will be having a conference call on April 28 at 9am. I will e-mail reminders and the telephone numbers to you.

We agreed that the agenda for the two day conference will be pretty much as outlined, but add the discussion point – what to name our organization? Something that suggests multistate, no hurricanes, and something all american, like “american home owner …...”

Attached is the previous e-mail with the suggested agenda for the two day conference.

Please call if you have any questions. Great work!!

God bless,

Summary of April 28 call

Present on call: were Dan, Vickery, Michelle, Bob and Craig.
We talked about the agenda for face-to-face Planning Meeting for Wednesday May 5 10am in Biloxi at Church of the Redeemer
At the Planning meeting we will:

  1. establish purpose/goals for this multi-state wind-and-hail insurance initiative
  2. come up with a mission statement
  3. decide a name for this initiative
  4. analyze the “playing field” that we are venturing to be a payer in and making sure that we are working in ways that will keep us relevant to this “playing field”.
  5. Establish specific “walk away” goals for proposed June conference; such as: pull non-profits together; citizens group that is a player in the Hurricane Insurance solution; develop unified consciousness; do we move the conference back to give us time to invite and prepare better?;
  6. sketch out an agenda for June conference
  7. brainstorm turn out for (a) June conference & (b) the planning group
  8. Discuss & explore location of June conference

RSVP to Bob Lowry so he can order food for next Wednesday's planning meeting. (601-906-7543)
Bring $10
Address of Church of the Redeemer is 610 Water St. Biloxi, MS 39539
Michelle's cell is 251-895-3902

Great work, Y'all!!!

Summary of November 22 Call

On the call were:
Allen S w. IRD in Mississippi,
Laura V w. Hope in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana,
Laura P w. Lower 9 in New Orleans,
Dave B w. Habitat 4 Humanity, Mobile
Lauren Dupuis w. EDA in Atlanta
Dan H, Johnny C and Michelle K w. HHII in Lower Alabama

It was agreed to work toward a one day workshop on the topic of homeowners' hurricane insurance. The purpose would be to bring non-profits and community leaders up to speed on the issue so that they might be more able to make a difference in bringing about a more just solution.

A tentative agenda was discussed:

 Before lunch from 9 to 11:30am

What is happening?

Presentations from Gene Taylor, Senator Ben Brooks and members of the Dept. of Insurance. Topics that would be covered – solutions that emphasize a Federal or regional response, the role of re-insurance, mitigation, how could a multi-state grasstops coalition become a part of the solution?

Lunch – bring $3 for chicken, men bring drinks and women bring side dishes

After lunch – summary of HHII findings that might help you in your state

Types of strategies, pros and cons

Lay out additional research and discuss possible targets for a multi-state coalition

Identify individuals and organizations that we need to invite to join us

Finish about 3pm


Michelle will check w. Church of the Redeemer and Allen might be able to help

Proposed Dates: Thursday, Jan 13 or 20

Information  that Lauren sent to Michelle about funding that you all can forward.


Notes from January 20, 2011, Multi State Workshop

Purpose: to bring non-profits and church leaders up to speed on the issue of hurricane insurance and begin thinking how we can move this issue.

Quick read – commitment was established to pursue a multi state coalition on this issue

18 present, strong representation from AL, LA, and MS

Presentations in the Morning were on the following

  • Basic Insurance vocabulary
  • Dynamics of the insurance problem
  • Federal solutions
  • Mitigation, captives and regional solutions
  • The Alabama Experience and how MS and LA might need to proceed

The afternoon was dedicated to discussing the implications of the mornings input.

Action Steps:

  1. Monika, from Equity and Inclusion gave a clear presentation on Gene Taylor's Multi-Peril Bill and she will e-mail us a schedule of the weeks the US legislators have on their home turf.
  2. Conference call set for Friday, Feb. 4 at 10am. (877-760-2043 id – 286046)
  3. Going home, we all agreed to talk around the idea of a coalition and get a feel for what we could bring to the table, which will be part of the conversation on Feb. 4th.
  4. There will be a workshop in LA. The Gauthe's will ask around about a church location.
  5. Concise goals need to be articulated so that it will be clear what we are inviting people to participate in. Critique what is below, please.
  6. Research meeting w. Rep. DeLano

Who can go? Research meeting w. Mississippi Rep. DeLano on Feb. 3. Pre-mtg will be 9:30am at 2 Old River Place (Exit 55North at Fortification Street – see rest of directions below) Then we will travel to Rep. DeLano's office. Call Michelle if you can attend (251-928-3430)

This is what were the goals of HHII as listed on the Gubernatorial Candidates forum, May 22, 2010:

Goals of this Homeowners’ Insurance Initiative
Significant reduction in premiums;
Reliability of Insurance Companies;
Just payment of claims;
Sustainable solutions

Please write me back with your suggestions for the goals

Posted 1/25/2011


Click on date for Meeting Notes


◊   January 13

◊   January 27

◊   March 3 (no record)

◊   April 7

◊   April 27

◊   April 28

◊   November 22


◊   January 20


◊   September 25

◊   October 25

◊   December 10


◊   January 8

◊   January 22

◊   February 5

◊   February 19

◊   March 5

Last updated 1/14/2014