Hurricanes equal money for insurance CEOs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 29, 2007

To the Editor:

How, after the Insurance Information Institute last week reported record insurance industry profits of $63.7 billion for 2006, do insurance companies continue to abandon Gulf Coast policyholders?

The answer – because insurance CEOs look at natural disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which were the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 7 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, as revenue generators.

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The Consumer Federation of America said insurers used these hurricanes to justify “overpricing insurance, underpaying claims and reaping unjustified profits,” all at the expense of policyholders.

While 2006 was a banner year for insurance companies, for hundreds of thousands of policyholders it was a year of terrible tragedy. And, for those “lucky” enough to hold on to their policies, sky-high rate increases are being imposed despite the fact that insurance CEO’s wallets have never been fatter.

Allstate just announced Mississippi homeowners will be hit with a 29 percent increase this year.

What’s next for Gulf Coast homeowners – haven’t they suffered enough?

Bill Chappell