GULF COAST/EAST COAST HOMEOWNERS' HURRICANE INSURANCE COALITION (GCECHHIC)
State and Federal positions on on federal regulation of insurance

HHII Research

Legislative activity

JULY 16, 2013, CONFERENCE CALL WITH JILL BOXLER

Jill Boxler is HHII's liason with Governor Bentley.  Her official title is Director of Federal Relations.  Summerized below are preparations for and highlights from the conversation.

The following wish list was shared with Jill prior to the telecon:

1. HHII and Gulf-Coast-East-Coast Homeowners Insurance Coalition (GCECHIC) have two asks:

a.  Asking him to send a letter to Gulf and Atlantic Coast governors that has the basic request found in the draft below; and

b. Asking him to open doors at private foundations and endorsing requests for grants -- requests that will have explicitly spelled out steps, measurable goals and accountability that will satisfy him. We are in the process of locating grants that would be receptive to this type of work.

2. Pretend as you read beow that it is a letter Gov Bentley has written to Louisiana Governor Jindle:

Dear Governor Jindle,

As you know, the homeowners insurance crisis seriously impacts all our states, and multi-state solutions could be powerful and sustainable.

Alabama’s Coastal Legislators and GCECHIC have made exceptional strides developing a multi-state coastal band strategy. (See attached concept paper)

They are aggressively working as a bi-partisan unit.

I and my staff have worked with them since before my election. Last year I appointed one of my policy analysts to work closely with them.

It would be most helpful if you could do the same: appoint a member of your staff to work with my staff, Alabama’s coastal legislators and GCECHIC.

To this end would it be okay for State Representative Joe Faust and/or a representative of GCECHIC to contact your office next month regarding an appointee who will work with them?

3. In addition the following points were discussed amongst the GCECHIC participants:

     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.
Amy Bach wrote: Sounds right, but I would write up an actual paragraph that everyone can use. Something like:
The Coalition's goal is reforms at the state and federal level related to home insurance that will restore home owners' ability to:

1) Prepare for adversity by buying and maintaining reasonably priced insurance that will reliably pay for repairing/rebuilding/recovering after a natural catastrophe of any kind, and

2) Comply with lender and other mandatory insurance requirements and laws and ordinances related to their homes.

    The Coalition's short term priorities include:

1) Imperative revisions to the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012

2) The establishment of a Coastal Insurance Band

Highlights from the conversation:

1. Jill understands the Coastal Band re-insurance entity.

 2. By order of the Governor, Jill has had a conversation w. the director of the Center for Best Practices housed in the Nat'l Governor's Assoc. (did I get that right?) about the complexities of our homeowners' insurance crisis. Gov. Bentley has asked the Center to produce a report on the viability of the Coastal Band and any other alternatives out there. Once this project of writing a research report has been assigned, Jill was under the impression the production phase would only be a few days.

3. We strongly urged Jill to ask the Governor to interact w. GCECHIC before going public so that we can spare possible embarrassment. We can see advantages to his office if he had the input of 15 grassroots organizations on the viability of ideas and alternative research sources. For example, Voters in South Alabama that we talk to are upset at the idea of $1 million of the education budget is going to an insurance institute.

4. Jill will review the news clip and confirm if the Governor is also asking for a task force out of the coastal governors.

5. Jill will present to the Governor the two asks from GCECHIC

a. That the Governor will request that each coastal governor appoint a staffer that will interact on an ongoing basis with GCECHIC - share research, be on multi-state conference calls, etc.

b. That the Governor's staff would help GCECHIC find grants and the Governor would write letters of support, IF he agrees with the content of the proposals.

c. We would like to meet w. Gov. Bentley if he has a problem w. the asks listed above.

Posted 7/17/2013

GCECHHIC MEETS WITH FLORIDA LEGISLATORS

GCECHHIC acknowledges that this meeting never would have been possible if it had not been for the support and leadership of Rep. Joe Faust. His partnership with the Gulf Coast / East Coast Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Coalition has enabled doors to open whose handles were too high to reach. We are very grateful.

GCECHHIC met with several Florida Senators on March 21 in Tallahassee, FL.

Participants from GCECHHIC: Richard Papantonio, Dan Hanson, Johnny Chaney, AC and Leon Leggett, Earl and Rosa Janssen, Michelle Kurtz

The purpose of the trip was to ask for a commitment to a bi-partisan effort that will explore a multi-state re-insurance solution to the wind insurance crisis with legislators from other states.

10am w. Joel Ramos, legislative assistant for Senator Jeremy Ring. He definitely wants to learn more, especially after the session ends in May. He wants us to get back in touch with him, put him on the e-mail list and he wants to cooperate.

11am w. Rep. Doug Broxson and his legislative assistant, Kevin Brown. Rep. Broxson is an independent insurance agent. He had objections every step of the way. But we hope we won him over when we started in prayer. He said that that was the first time prayer had been initiated in his office. Also, you could tell by the expression on his face that our presentation gave him something to think about when Dan asked him to consider the relationship between the number of miles of coast and the number of hurricanes that make landfall on the coast of FL. When you look at risk this way, AL and MS are higher risk than FL. Obviously not convinced that a solution is possible Rep. Broxson agreed to explore a multi- state re-insurance entity. Fair enough.

1pm w. Senator Margolis and her legislative assistant, David Lancz. This appointment was a breeze and very affirming. There was quick agreement to participate and within three hours David had sent an e-mail to AL Rep. Joe Faust acknowledging the intent of their office to participate. 

Quick review of previous work: In LA, Tonia Pence and David Gauthie set up very successful appointments with the Administrator of Plaquemine Parish and Rep. Leopold. They want us to come back and present to a larger group and FEMA administrators also want to visit. There was great concern about the upcoming effects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act on the NFIP.

In AL we have agreement from Rep. Napoleon Bracey (Dem.) to co-chair the Coastal Legislative Caucus with Rep. Joe Faust (Rep.). Rep. Alan Baker and Sen. Hightower has responded with their support. We have more calling to do but we are sure there will be strong representation from Mobile and Baldwin counties.

In MS, we had a phone conversation with Rep. Baria and dropped off at his office documents for his consideration. We had a challenging appointment w. Biloxi Councilman Stallworth urging us to take our campaign to the next level in organizational strength. He was very concerned about NFIP.

All four states are in session right now and so are very pressurized right now.

Posted 3/26/2013

COASTAL BAND RESEARCH SESSION
WITH AL DOI DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ANGELL

On January 25, 2014, about 15 HHII representatives, together with State Representative Faust and Baldwin Co. Commissioner James, met with Alabama DOI Deputy Commissioner Charles Angell to discuss the Coastal Band Initiative.

Mr. Angell stressed that he was not speaking for the DOI but from his own actuarial experience.

He said the Coastal Band “makes sense,” and is “a fine concept” but a lot of devils can be found in the details.

He made the following specific points:

 --  Feds will not backstop bonds

 -- The significant capital advantage will be capturing the “Risk Load” reinsurance companies charge. It makes up about 80% of the reinsurance premium.

 -- A significant problem will be raising initial capital and also winning credibility with mortgage companies; (need a financial rating from Demo-tech, or AM Best)

 -- The board would need insurance experts in significant numbers, and maybe be the majority; this is particularly important to win credibility with rating companies;

 -- Will need a business plan and involvement of actuaries;

 -- Don’t mention/plan dividend returns to policyholders because all the capital will be needed;

 -- DOI might be supportive of HHII/GCEC requests for studies by the new Institute;

-- The elimination of Cherry Picking should distinguish quality of structures, if not geographical areas;

 -- Domestic companies might and might not come to like the idea, but will be primarily concerned about its viability;

 Mr. Angell also provided sugeestions regarding the Clarity Law:

 -- Adding TIV (total insured value) to the requirements of the Clarity Law would be helpful but might require legislation instead of a DOI regulation;

 -- Loss/policy is corrupted by double-counting;

 -- The DOI is exploring a regulation that requires companies to report losses and then also losses as if they imposed a standard $1,000 deductible;

 -- Hurricane models are here to stay; “you won’t win that argument.”

 -- Clarity Law’s 10-years of data is too short of a window;

On HHII's proposed Parity Law, Mr. Angell remarked:

 -- It’s politically impossible

 -- Perhaps it should say statewide premiums must be “equally adequate or inadequate.”

 -- If a company decides to pull out of the Alabama homeowners’ market because of the Parity Law, would they be required to pull out of the auto market, too?

 -- Large companies might pull out of state, creating insurance chaos

Posted 1/28/2014

COASTAL BAND RESEARCH SESSION
WITH PROBATE JUDGE TIM RUSSELL

 height=About 12 people met with Baldwin Probate Judge Tim Russell December 6, 2013.  Judge Russell has had extensive experience in the insurance business. He also chaired Governor Bentley's Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission and HHII found his comments to be extremely valuable.

Judge Russell said he fully supports the multi-state concept. He has helped design Captives legislation for Alabama. It can serve as a model when developing legislation for the Band and the Judge promised to forward a copy to HHII.

Other key points:

 -- starting small will require buying re-insurance; the larger, the more states in the start-up the better;

 -- premium revenue from multiple states coupled with the capacity to borrow from bond markets, backed by the federal government or an alliance of state governments could make it possible to operate without re-insurance;

 -- the Coastal Band might work well as an Insurance Captive or legislation designing it can closely follow Alabama’s Insurance Captives model;

 -- Wind-pool reserves might help with start-up – although it might take a lawsuit to get them; in all states.

Posted 1/28/2014

e-mail from Sen. Margolis to Rep. Faust

Representative Faust,

Senator Margolis and I had the pleasure of meeting with Michelle Kurtz and others regarding the creation of a multi-state hurricane insurance compact. We found their presentation very informative.

Senator Margolis would like to join your bi-partisan caucus and looks forward to working with you in the future on this important issue.

Best wishes on behalf of Senator Margolis,

David Lancz District Legislative Aide to Senator Gwen Margolis

Posted 3/26/2013

This page last updated 3/25/2013