Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Affordable Insurance Group Plans Wind Policy Rollout

Fairhope, Alabama

ACT II, Michelle Kurtz at left


The All Churches Together organization (ACT II) met last week to plan for their roll out of the  Alabama Insurance Underwriter's Association's (AIUA-click) new wind pool policy for Baldwin and Mobile counties that could reduce home owner's insurance by as much as 27%.

The initiative began about ten years ago with ACT II's founding in Gulf Shores and subsequently discovering there was no data to justify coastal homeowners being charged up to 600% higher premiums than elsewhere in the state.

The HHII organization, Homeowner's Hurricane Insurance Initiative (click), grew out of it; their Facebook page is here (click).

It continued with the Governor's appointment of a Coastal Insurance Working Group two years ago and then bills introduced in the state legislature earlier this year; then reached fruition when the State Department of Insurance and AIUA agreed that the private, non profit corporation would offer a new wind policy to homeowners in coastal areas beginning this August.

The new policy reduces premiums, provides more deductible ranges, and for replacement costs vs, the usual lower actual cash values after claims, according to ACT II's chairperson Michelle Kurtz.


According to group members and a private insurance agent who attended the meeting, insurance companies concede they "panicked" after the 2004-05 hurricanes  -- and over-zealously raised premiums: there have been no storms in the 15 years since.

There is no way to "get the money back" though.

Even private wind rates have returned to near their 2005 levels now; the establishment of the alternative AIUA wind policy probably contributed to the decline and should act as a check to prevent such unreasonable premium rate spikes in the future.

"The AIUA policy is the reason they are coming down; consumers have an alternative now."


Kurtz emphasized the strength of the AIUA  calling it "strong, not a flimsy new company" -- and how it is backed by all other insurance companies operating in the state and by re-insurance.

It's also is regulated by the Alabama Department of Insurance, she said, giving citizens input into its operation.


The group is planning to distribute flyers at the August 5th Art Walk downtown and possibly hold a town hall type meeting later in the month to educate the public about how to obtain the new AIUA policy.

The only way is to access through private insurance agents, not directly to AIUA, but this may prove problematic because not all agents are well-informed about it and others may be reluctant to refer for various reasons (lower commission, too much added paperwork, etc.)

Customers are urged to ask their agents about it.

Some members criticized media reporting so far, particularly one Mobile television station, for inaccurate coverage of their effort  to "get the word out to the public."

Another roll-out planning meeting is to be held at 6;30PM  this Thursday at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope on S. Mobile St. (in back, behind the main building).

The public is welcome to attend.


Anonymous said...

Insurance is just a legal scam, a ponzi scheme.

Mark Bernasconi said...

What is the role of the Alabama Department of Insurance if not to protect the interests of the citizens of Alabama? Looks like they were a sleep at the wheel when this increase hit us hard. How are they planning to do better next time?

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha. They are bought and paid for by the big companies.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment. I lived across the street from a local insurance branch owner. He was so lazy in my opinion All I saw him do is play. He would only wave at people that had insurance with him. I would pay double for insurance before I would trust anything of mine with him Weird people. His wife talked about everyone in the neighborhood