Information on Alabama legislators and their actions on coastal insurance legislation

Interaction with HHII

Position on Coastal Insurance Crisis


Click here to see virtually the same reply he sent almost a year ago!  Nothing has changed!!

Posted 3/3/2015


Several HHII members have written to Governor Bentley complaining about the obvious discriminatory unfairness in coastal homeowners' insurance premiums revealed by data collected through the Clarity Law.

Each writer, even some individuals who had NOT written, received the same canned response from the Governor's office (see post below). The Governor remains beholden to the insurance industry. All the political rhetoric in this auto-written letter is window dressing to make us think something is being done.  Nothing is.  And the fundemental issues of injustice and unfairness are completely ignored.

We need a ground swell of complaints on how Gov. Bentley is running our state not just his state.  We need to challenge him on all fronts. He thinks that he has the support of all the people in AL.  He has thrown us a bone to chew on and in his way of thinking we should be satisfied. We have gained nothing in his sight as long as he will listen to his advisories and his DOI.

Come to the next HHII public meeting and learn how you can be part of the groundswell.

Revised 4/5/2014


"Thank you for your letter regarding the high cost of homeowners insurance. I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with me.

Addressing the availability and affordability of homeowners insurance is a long-term priority of mine. The 2012 Legislative Session proved to be a very productive session addressing this issue with the passage of bills such as the Clarity Act. In October 2013, upon the recommendation of the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission (AHIC), I announced the creation of the Alabama Center for Insurance Information & Research (ACIIR). This will be an independent, non-profit research center that will examine the challenges facing Alabama homeowners and produce thorough, unbiased research to help homeowners make informed decisions. For more information on insurance rates and Clarity Act data, please visit the Alabama Department of Insurance website and read the Department's whitepaper.

Homeowners insurance reform is a complicated issue. It is my hope that, with continued pursuit of AHIC recommendations and mitigation grants and the future work of the ACIIR, homeowners in Alabama will have additional options to reduce insurance costs.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me, and thank you for your valuable service with the AHIC. If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please feel free to contact my office.

Robert Bentley Governor"

Read HHII Reaction

Posted 4/4/2014


Rep. Joe Faust has gotten behind HHII in a big way. He has opened doors with our business community. He has raised funds for this FREE fish fry all by himself. He has sent out letters of introduction to other state legislators in FL, MS and LA.

He believes in what HHII is doing and says this cooperation between HHII and himself is something that he feels best about in all of his political career. Rep. Faust knows that we have a winning solution for the coastal homeowners insurance problem – a coastal reinsurance band.

Rep. Faust is lifting the heavy weights and now we all need to do what we can to make this a success.

Posted 5/1/2013


During a 25 minute meeting February 16, Governor Robert Bentley told a delegation from HHII that he supported the Property Insurance Clarity Bill (SB2).

He said, too, that he did not want "piecemeal" legislation. This echoed a long-standing HHII principle: "Don't address a problem; fix it."

He said he will focus on this crisis when he is through with the budget, sometime in March and that he wanted to fix the problem before the year ended.  If necessary, he will call a special session to deal with it. He arranged for HHII to begin working with his insurance policy analyst: Johnny Blackmon.

Of some concern to the delegation, Gov Bentley said he might convene a commission. This has been done twice already. The recommendations that came out of the first one, convened by Governor Bob Riley more than three years ago, have been successfully fought by insurance lobbyists.

Prayerfully, Gov Bentley will recognize this and, rather than going backwards forming yet another commission, he will recognize that the time has come to fix the problem over and against the pressures industry lobbyists have already said they will bring.

In the photo, starting far left and working around the table, are Johnny Chaney, Earl Janssen, Stan Virden, Pastor Bennie L Richardson III, Gov. Bentley, Dan Hanson, A.C. Leggett, Michelle Kurtz, and Sarah Harris.

Posted 2/21/2011


Read 12/17/2010 MPR story

Dr. Bentley answering HHII questions May 22, 2010

Bentley at Forum

Bentley's Promises

At the May 22, 2010 HHII Gubernatorial Forum, Dr.Bentley made several significant promises including (a) support of the HHII 'Transparency Bill;' (b) appointment of an independent insurance commissioner; and (c) meeting with HHII and the Alabama Christian Coaltion January 27, 2011 to work out solutions to the insurance crisis.  All these promises are exhibited on the covenant board, pictured below

Bentley Board

Bentley's signed committments

Notice he said he wants an "independent commissioner."  In addition to Bentley's signature, it bears the signature of The Rev. Bob Frankenburg, pastor of Citronelle Presbyterian Church. Some 20 pastors of numerous denominations along with 225 other people witnessed Mr. Bentley's promises of appointing an independent insurance commissioner, and also meeting with HHII and the Christian Coalition Jan 27 to work out solutions to our crisis.

Read AL Sen. Ben Brooks' letter to Dr. Bentley reminding him of his commitment to meet with HHII.

Click link for more about Jim Ridling.

Posted 1/5/2011

How senators voted on insurance bills

4/17/2012 post on by George Altman, Capital Bureau

Senate Bill 231 and House Bill 189 both failed on procedural votes in the Senate today.

SB 231 would require insurers to notify their customers of discounts they can receive if they make their homes more storm resistant.

HB 189 would let Alfa and other insurers based in Alabama to seek out-of-state investments from which they were previously prohibited.

Both bills received a narrow majority in votes to officially bring them up for consideration, but Senate rules require a super-majority that the bills could not obtain.

Read full post to see how they voted

Posted 4/19/2012

Q & A with Senator Ben Brooks re Insurance Reform

The following post from law firm Boteler, Finley & Wolfe's blog is provided for informational purposes; HHII neither recommends nor endorses the work of this firm

During his tenure in the Alabama Legislature Senator Ben Brooks of Mobile has been an advocate in our State, and specifically along the Gulf Coast, for insurance reform for homeowners and small businesses. Recently Mark Wolfe of BF&W sat down for a Questions and Answers session with Senator Ben Brooks on the topic of insurance reform.... Read More

Posted 2/3/2012


At Sen. Shelby's town hall meeting in Fairhope March 21, the Senator  gave, as he's done in the past, long, detailed, elaborately philosophical  answers (with graphic) to questions from the audience, but when asked about insurance by HHII's Michelle Kurtz, he said it wasn't something he could deal with.  When asked about the federal Gene Taylor/Jo Bonner multi-perils bill, he said he didn't support it because it would cost the federal government a trillion dollars (see comment below).  He refused to discuss the matter any further.  He turned to other audience members in hopes of getting the subject changed.  There was a noticable mumur of approval in the audience when they first heard Michelle's question.  A couple of other strangers tried to bring the subject back up. . . but he refused to deal with it.

Also, very disturbingly, Sen. Shelby refused to call on one HHII member even though she was one of the first and very visible people in the audience of about 80 to raise her hand when the audience was invited to ask questions.  When it became obvious to all that Sen. Shelby was  intentionally ignoring her, she began to move around the room to get into his line of sight.  This went on 20 minutes.  He continued to ignore her, until she purposely spoke out of turn and addressed her question to him. Oddly, her question would have been friendly -- basically agreeing with him -- had he not so infuriated her and many of the rest of us by the way he treated her.  In short, and as usual, he seemed to have no interest in listening or facilitating a public dialogue. Those who attended his public meeting at Five Rivers last year know his routine.  He was only there to tell everyone what to think. And, of course, his treatment of this HHII questioner was inexcusable.

Also read Russ Henderson's 3/22 report at

A trillion dollars?

If we add up all the insurance losses accumulated in the disasters of the last 20 years -- Hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Wilma, Charley, Ivan, Hugo, Rita and Frances, plus throw in the damages of the 9-11 Terrorist attack, plus the 1994 Northridge, California Earthquake -- their total dollar amount comes to under $130 Billion .. . about 1/8th of the Trillion Dollars Sen. Shelby refuses to even talk about. (Source for storm costs: "Property/ Casualty Insurance 2008: Overpriced Insurance and Underpaid Claims . . ." by J. Robert Hunter, Consumer Federation of America, page 12).  Even more to the point, the Senator remains unaware that hundreds of billions in premiums would be paid into federal coffers if the multi-peril strategy were adopted.  The Gene Taylor/Jo Bonner multi-perils plan would be revenue neutral (and might even make the government money).

Posted 3/21/2011


Sen. Pittman and Rep. McMillan said at the Ono Island forum Saturday, March 19, that Gov. Bentley has basically forced the homeowners' insurance matter into a special session, "probably in the fall."  They were a bit disturbed because the Governors's position has effectively taken insurance reform off the table for this session.

This could be a positive development for HHII, as it will provide more time  to educate House & Senate Banking & Insurance Committee members on need for reform and the Clarity Bill (see post below).

Posted 3/20/2011

Bentley: Strict rules for insurers should be 'on the table'

 Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said the state should consider forcing insurance companies to write policies along the Gulf Coast and barring them from dropping policyholders.

"I believe in fairness, and, you know, there are just people in those (coastal) areas that are hurting, and they need some help," said Bentley, who took office in January. "Everybody is looking to me for leadership, and ... we're going to provide that."

Read complete 3/2/2011 story by PR reporter George Altman

Posted 3/2/2011


Gov. Robert Bentley's State of the State speech stressed his commitment to creating more jobs in Alabama but failed to mention anything about the property insurance crisis facing the coastal counties.  Apparently, he does not understand the connection between exhorbitantly expensive or unobtainable insurance coverage and job creation. 

 Read complete text of speech.

Posted 3/2/2011

Bentley supports coastal insurance reform

Gov. Robert Bentley said he supports a bill that would force insurers to disclose premiums collected and losses paid.

According to the Press-Register, Bentley said he would call a special session to seek a comprehensive solution to coastal insurance woes.

Bentley made the remarks following a meeting in Montgomery with the Hurricane Homeowners Insurance Initiative (HHII), which is a citizens group pushing for reform that would lead to lower priced and more available coastal insurance.

Read article at Birmingham Business Journal
Read similar article at Insurance Journal

Posted 2/18/2011


HHII wonders if Dr. Bentley understands or cares about the seriousness and injustice of the homeowners' insurance crisis in Alabama's coastal counties.  Consider the following:

  • Reappoints Ridley despite promise to HHII that DOI Commissioner would be independent (see post below). 

  • Has not responded to Senator Brook's letter reminding Dr. Bentley of commitments he made to HHII.  (See also HHII's reminder letter to Dr. Bentley.)

  • Has not responded to HHII letter expressing our concerns with CRCAL Insurance Subcommittee recommendations. 

  • Noncommital response to letter from Earl Jensen.

Updated 1/18/2011    


This page last updated 3/3/2015