The Battle Over Home Insurance Rates

HOME INSURANCE GOUGING?

Michelle Kurtz with the Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative told FOX10 News a new law called the Clarity Law has brought transparency to home insurance rates in Alabama and they hope to use the numbers to bring down the high rates in the coastal counties.

“In Mobile and Baldwin counties we pay 300% to 600% more in premiums than the state average is about $950,” Kurtz said.

The Clarity law allows anybody to get the losses of insurance companies and break them down by county and even zip code.

LOSS PER POLICY

Using the Clarity law numbers the group came up with a ratio they call loss per policy. It works like this: say there is $10 million in losses in one county for one year. Then you have ten thousand policies in that county. That equals a $1000 loss per policy.

“Our losses per policy over the last 10 years come only to $622 per policy in Mobile and Baldwin counties. The rest of the state, when you take Mobile and Baldwin out, their losses come to $722 per policy. We are actually less in our losses,” Kurtz told us.

ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE DISAGREES

Charles Angell with the Alabama Department of Insurance said, “People on the coast are not being overcharged and in fact they are being undercharged substantially for the home owners policies that they are getting.”

Angell told us the loss numbers on their own are too simplistic and that the insurance companies have higher expenses on the coast, the biggest of which is reinsurance.

“Reinsurance is the insurance that insurance companies buy to protect them when a large storm comes,” Angell explained.

Angell authored a response to the Clarity Law numbers called the White Paper. In it, he lays out how the Department feels the current home insurance rates are justified.

“We are confident that the rates people are being charged today are justified statistically. Therefore, there is really is not much that can change over the next year or two,” Angell said.

NOW ENOUGH FOR HHII

“Even if we grant all their exceptions they do not come up to 300% in justified increases. Why is the Department of insurance working so hard to kick to the side the very data that they aggregated and put online,” Kurtz exclaimed. “They need to stop using their energy to fight us and get beside us and come up with a real solution. Is this going to continue another 10 years?”

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