June 19, 2011
The following link, No silver bullet for Alabama’s insurance crisis, is an op-ed written by Alabama senator Ben Brooks (Mobile-R) appearing in today’s edition of the Press-Register. My reply follows.
The Republicans love to promote the virtues of the free market while demagoguing a government of any size and it’s influence. Isn’t the free market working, just fine, on this issue of coastal home insurance even though some carriers have left the market, the rates have gone up significantly and the coverage has been restricted? As a Republican, you’re arguing for a government intervention to solve this supply and demand issue. Am I right?
I wish you felt that same way about these high gas prices at the pump. What’s the problem with insurance — is it simply a matter of higher rates following a series of storms caused by the overbuilding and underinsuring, in hurricane-prone areas, during the last real estate bubble?
It looks like even government action can’t bring the rates down through new laws, so what’s the root cause of this crisis and why can’t you pro-market politicians just accept this new reality — a new world with higher insurance rates due to greater coastal exposures and increased rebuilding costs? Floridians know all about this.
I think the real problem is that it’s becoming more and more expensive to live and work, in America. The cost of doing business is eclipsing our stagnant wages leaving everyone in debt. We’re pricing ourselves “out of the market” with our various lifestyle choices from getting an expensive college education with loans, driving around town in luxury cars and SUVs, maintaining and updating a home that’s lost value, paying for out of control health care premiums to retiring without a solid pension or having an adequately funded 401k plan.
If insurance carriers and the reinsurance market aren’t making money by collecting our premiums then they’re surely investing elsewhere, either, on Wall Street or in the global market, such as, in developing countries where profits may be much higher and the risks are perceived to be lower than selling wind policies on the Gulf Coast.
Follow the money and you’ll know whether your wasting your time and energy, or not. Regardless of what you want or Montgomery does, these carriers may never come back to Alabama anytime soon. Wouldn’t you like to know this, once and for all?
“Follow the truth wherever it takes you”. — Thomas Jefferson
Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved. “My reply: No Silver Bullet” by Ted Burnett.
My other essays can be viewed at my blog – http://www.toxicnation.blogspot.com/. I can be contacted via email at – firstname.lastname@example.org. My biography can be viewed at http://www.tedburnettresume.blogspot.com.