Analysis of Data from Clarity Act

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

The Clarity law was passed in 2012 and on Thanksgiving 2013 the data showing premiums and claims by zip code going back to 2003 came on line. The data clearly showed that the coastal counties have been treated unfairly and that their claims were lower than the rest of the state!! The 2013 numbers have come on line just recently and since there has not been any significant activity in the coastal counties and there has been hail and wind damage up north, the coastal counties, again, have lower claims.

For almost a year now HHII has been doing two things - presenting our rebuttal to the Dept. of Insurance's (DOI) White Paper that asserts that the Clarity Law Data is not reliable. It is disheartening to see our DOI spending so much time and energy on the defensive against the largest most extensive data bank on claims and premiums instead of using their resources to problem solve this injustice. Secondly, a team of speakers has been educating legislators, bankers, relators and all kinds of people on the facts of the data and the solution to our continuing homeowners insurance crisis.

Now it is time to enter into a new phase of the HHII campaign. The name of this phase is: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

With the Lord all things are possible - He has brought us this far and He will see us to the finish!

Edited 1/27/2015

GOUGED!

Hurricanes Don't Justify our High Coastal Premiums!


Mobile & Baldwin Counties' premiums are
4 X Higher than the rest of the state.

Yet . . .
Coastal Insurance Losses are LOWER
than the rest of the state,

according to newly released Alabama Clarity Law data.

Click on this PowerPoint presentation to see how HHII analysed the Clarity Law data.

The bar chart above shows Mobile and Baldwin counties had LOWER insurance losses than the rest of the state over the past 10 years (red bars on graph). Yet the Alabama Department of Insurance allowed companies to charge us FOUR TIMES MORE than the rest of the state (blue and gold bars). The data includes Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, Tropical Storm Ida & Mobile's Christmas Day tornados.

Revised 3/8/2014

It’s enough to make you pull your hair out

Columnist Bob Morgan has a great article on GulfCoastNewsToday.com.  You can read the whole piece there (and you really should) by clicking on the link above but the meat is extracted below.

'Using DOI’s own data, HHII has discovered that when Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 four inland counties (Escambia, Monroe, Conecuh, Clarke) suffered greater losses-per-policy than Baldwin and 12 inland counties (add Wilcox, Washington, Butler, Covington, Lowndes, Choctaw, Marengo, Perry) suffered greater losses-per-policy than Mobile. Katrina in 2005? Seven inland counties (Washington, Escambia, Choctaw, Sumter, Clarke, Pike, Greene) had greater losses-per-policy than Baldwin County.

Over a 10-year period HHII’s extensive research puts coastal loss-per-policy at $622 as compared with a statewide loss-per-policy of $722, and yet the state average for full homeowners insurance is $950 compared to $1,384 for the coastal counties.

The bottom line: Why should homeowners on the coast pay 300 percent more in homeowners premiums when they actually have less losses than the rest of the state? HHII is demanding that DOI stop this unfair discrimination.'

Posted 1/30/2014

New Push for Fair Home Insurance Rates

See original Channel 15TV story here

There's now a push for fairness when it comes to homeowners insurance. Companies are now required to disclose the cost of claims and data by zip code.

The Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative says that data shows homeowners in Mobile and Baldwin counties pay close to three times more in insurance premiums than the state average.

The group wants more homeowners to take a closer look, saying that if you own a home in Mobile or Baldwin County you've been subsidizing the rest of the state for the last 10 years. "the department of insurance said that with all these storms by golly we must be on the verge of terrible catastrophes every year from here on out. " "they made that decision without using historical county by county, zip code by zip code information," said Michelle Kurtz with the Homeowners Initiative.

A spokesperson for the State Department of Insurance says there's a higher cost of doing business in Mobile and Baldwin and the premiums we pay are accurate.

Posted 1/15/2015

DATA SHOW COASTAL PREMIUMS PAY FOR
UPSTATE INSURANCE LOSSES

Mobile and Baldwin counties have been subsidizing
the rest of the state for the past 10 years

Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative's preliminary analysis of Clarity Law Data shows that Coastal Counties have been less expensive to repair than the rest of the state over the last 10 years.

*   Mobile and Baldwin counties have been subsidizing the rest of the state during the past 10 years.

* The Mobile and Baldwin loss-ratio during that time is 50.72. The statewide loss ratio during that same time (with Mobile and Baldwin counties excluded), is 92.48. This is with Hurricane Ivan and Katrina numbers in the calculation. (The higher the number, the greater the losses in that county.)

*  The Mobile-Baldwin loss-ratio is 74.5 when premiums are adjusted to the state average. The rest of the state at 92.48 had more damage proportionally over the past 10 years than the coastal counties.

*   Removing 2011 – the year of the Tuscaloosa tornadoes -- from the data reduces the statewide loss-ratio to 70. Even with coastal hurricane data left in, the 2011 tornadoes taken out, and coastal premiums adjusted to the state average, coastal counties are no more expensive than the rest of the state.

*   Mobile and Baldwin counties have been LESS expensive to repair (loss ratio) than the rest of the state as a whole.

Inland hurricane damage is frequently worse than coastal damage. In 2004, the year of Hurricane Ivan:

*  FIVE inland counties suffered a higher proportional loss than Baldwin County: Monroe, Escambia, Conecuh, Clarke and Wilcox.

*  EIGHTEEN inland counties suffered a higher proportional loss than Mobile County: Monroe, Escambia, Conecuh, Clarke, Wilcox, Washington, Butler, Choctaw, Lowndes, Marengo, Crenshaw, Covington, Greene, Chilton, Sumter, Coosa, Dallas, and Perry.

Premiums were approximately the same in those days, so need not be adjusted to the state average.

You can evaluate the data for yourself by downloading the attached spread sheet .

Posted 12/7/2013

DATA REQUIRED BY CLARITY ACT NOW ON LINE

The Clarity Act data went on line today (11/27/2013). HHII commends the Department Of Insurance for their good work in executing the Clarity Law and making the on-line site user friendly.

Revised 12/7/2013

LOSS RATIO BY COUNTY

This map , based on data from the Clarity Law, shows how much lower the loss ratios in Mobile and Baldwin counties are as compared to other counties in the state.

Posted 6/8/2015

2013 CLARITY LAW DATA IS IN

2013 Clarity Law numbers are in on DOI site.  HHII was able to analyse some numbers and found:

Baldwin County
Homeowner Premiums Paid $89.5 Million
Claims received $ 9.3 Million

Mobile County
Homeowner Premiums Paid $146.5 Million
Claims received $ 35.2 Million

Looks excessive without question and 2014 overcharges will probably be about the same!

Hurricane Homeowners Insurance Initiative continues to fight for fair rates that will certainly improve Alabama's Coastal economy and save every homeowner, renter, business and church about half of their current premium and reduce insanely high deductibles.

Revised 1/20/2015

COASTAL LEGISLATORS REACT TO
CLARITY LAW DATA

Homeowners Insurance Equity Resolution

Below are links to a sample resolution asking for support of the plan for fairness in premiums. The resolution can be tailored to suit as needed. Please distribute this as far and wide as you see fit and keep AC Leggett  informed of your contacts.

    

Posted 10/13/2014

AL DOI DISPUTES HHII'S ANALYSIS OF DATA

As a result of the numerous complaints that the Alabama Department of Insurance and the Governor’s office are receiving about the implications of the Clarity Act data, Charles Angell with the DOI has published a white paper, Challenges with Drawing Conclusions from The Clarity Act Data, which disputes HHII's findings based on the published Clarity Law data.

HHII has submitted a rebuttal to this document asking for Mr. Angell's response but so far none has been forthcoming.

Updated 7/1/2014

Ever wonder why the cost of wind insurance is so high?

From 3/30/2014 post by Michael Finch II on AL.com

Ever wonder why the cost of wind insurance in Alabama continues to rise, but no one seems to have an answer? It’s an important subject on the coast, where homeowners could benefit from a bit more insight.

The explanation is a complicated one. But a community organization believes they are getting closer to the answer.

Remember when legislators passed that bill called the Property Insurance Clarity Act? The law required insurance companies to submit the dollar amount in premiums collected and claims paid for customers in the state since 2007.

It was released last November, and you can view it online. It’s supposed to give homeowners a better understanding of the insurance process.

After analyzing the insurance data submitted by more than 30 companies, the Homeowners’ Hurricane Insurance Initiative found that the average loss per policy for coastal residents – living in Mobile and Baldwin counties -- was less than the rest of the state combined.

For the past 10 years, the average loss per policy in the coastal counties was $622, but the average loss upstate was $722 per policy, according to their analysis. This would mean that the companies lost more money writing policies upstate than on the coast.

The Alabama Department of Insurance says they’re wrong.

Read rest of the story here

Posted 4/10/2014

Mobile's Lagniappe Magazine weighs in on Clarity Data

You may be blown away by one local advocacy group's interpretation of new data coming out of the state Department of Insurance. According to Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative, property owners in Alabama's coastal counties have been paying more than four times as much for homeowners insurance over the past 10 years while costing the industry significantly less than counties upstate. The data is the result of the state's new Property Insurance Clarity Act, which HHII helped push into law after premiums skyrocketed in the wake of hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. Interestingly, the DOI doesn't exactly refute the data, but says it shows that people elsewhere aren't paying enough for insurance.

Read full article here

Posted 3/18/2014

Baldwin County is paying three times higher
than the state average.

Presenting HHII's analysis of the data posted on the AL DOI website as a result of the Clarity Law, Michelle Kurtz convinced Baldwin County Commissioners that Baldwin County was looking at geographical discrimination.  The commissioners responded favorably to her request to consider passing a resolution calling for equitable rates and premiums across the state.

Read the Fairhope Courier's report of the presentation here.  Watch a video of the actual presentation here  (you will need to click on 'Search Meetings' box at upper right, scroll down to 1/21/2014 meeting and click on agenda. The video of the meeting will start to play. Scroll down the printed agenda to item C2 and click on the link.)

View HHII's analysis of the Clarity Law data on this PowerPoint presentation.

Revised 2/19/2014

Numbers show Coastians pay higher insurance premiums, report lower losses

From 12/11/2013 article by Anita Lee on SunHerald.com

Hurricane losses cost insurance companies less than losses in other parts of Alabama, even though coastal premiums are 300 percent to 600 percent higher, an Alabama homeowners' group says.

Insurance company claims, or losses, as a percentage of premiums paid were 50.68 percent for coastal Mobile and Baldwin counties averaged over 10 years, compared to 92.45 percent for the rest of the state, according to insurance industry submissions to the state.

HHII already managed to push through the Alabama Legislature a law that requires insurance companies to report premiums and losses by zip code. The data, dating to 2003 and posted on the Alabama Insurance Department website, has allowed HHII and others for the first time to see how much money insurance companies are collecting and paying for losses by county.

A similar bill has failed to gain traction in Mississippi, but HHII members are helping build a coalition to push for a law similar to Alabama's, which is called the Clarity Act.

Read complete article here:

Posted 12/11/2013

Clarity law data shows insurance discrepancies

From 12/6/2013 post by Hal Scheurich on Fox10tv.com

Clarity Law data recently released by insurance companies has angered many Gulf Coast homeowners and organizations fighting for lower homeowners insurance rates.

According to Baldwin County officials, information just released by regulated insurance companies show Mobile and Baldwin County homeowners have been subsidizing the rest of the state for the last 10 years.

They’re numbers that HHII says big insurance companies don’t want you to see. Thanks to the Clarity Law authored by State Representative Joe Faust of Baldwin County, we now have them. What they show is quite a discrepancy between what insurance companies say coastal counties cost them in insurance claims and the real numbers.

The data show that homeowners in Mobile and Baldwin Counties pay an average of 31% more in insurance premiums than the state average and receive only between 16% and 26% return on every dollar invested into premiums. Counties in the top 10 received between 70% and 130% on their claims in 2012.

So what can the average homeowner do to fight back?

“The thing they can do is make their pain and difficulty known to their elected officials. That’s how to do it,” said AL State Senator, Bill Hightower of Mobile.

“We can’t do it by ourselves,” added State Representative, Joe Faust of Baldwin County. “The people need to let the insurance companies and the Department of Insurance know that we’re not just fools down here that we’ve got the data now and we know what’s happening.”

Go here to see video and read complete transcript

Posted 12/12/2013

Last updated 6/8/2015