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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, October 12, 2006

You denied who's claim?

Insurers Get an Earful From Senator

Published: October 12, 2006

Sometimes, political connections come in handy. Ask Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi.

Mr. Lott, a Republican and former majority leader, is one of thousands of homeowners on the Gulf Coast who have been fighting with their insurers over payments for damage in Hurricane Katrina. In an interview yesterday, he said he was angry about the insurers’ “insensitivity and outright meanness” in rejecting many homeowners’ claims.

He said he inserted a provision into legislation, signed by President Bush last week, directing the Department of Homeland Security to investigate potential fraud by the insurance industry. Mr. Lott said he was also drafting legislation to challenge the industry’s exemptions from antitrust laws and had asked his staff to investigate the industry’s tax rates.

“I am outraged,” he said. “I’m concerned there are lots of abuses in the aftermath of the hurricane.”

Mr. Lott’s claim for the loss of his $400,000 house in Pascagoula was rejected by State Farm.

Industry executives and lawyers denied that the insurers had engaged in fraud and some questioned whether Mr. Lott was improperly using his position in Congress.

“Given that the senator has a personal dog in the fight, his actions have the appearance of an abuse of power,” said Randy J. Maniloff, a lawyer in Philadelphia who represents insurance companies.

Mr. Lott said he was not acting solely out of personal motivation. “I’ve had my own experience, but a lot of people have had similar experiences,” Mr. Lott said. “They have abused my people, my friends, the people I love.”

Robert P. Hartwig, the chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group in New York, said: “It’s unfortunate that the scarce resources of the Department of Homeland Security are being diverted toward an unjustified investigation.”

The industry executives also asserted that Mr. Lott, as a senator, had a duty to be impartial. They said he should follow the example of several judges in Mississippi whose homes were damaged in Katrina and who have recused themselves from cases involving the storm.

They should shut the fuck up. They have been screwing over Gulf Coast residents since Katrina, paying pennies on the dollar and wholesale denial of claims.

Lott is doing the right thing here. Way too many claims have been knocked down when they should have been paid. State Farm is being sued right now over this.

posted by Steve @ 2:12:00 AM

2:12:00 AM

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