In response to Cape Cod Times article
on the public hearing on insurance Bills at the State House:
I appreciate the Cape Cod Times writing an article about the public hearing. I made several major points at the hearing in support of our Bill which seeks to require insurance companies to use hurricane models based on Massachusetts storms and construction data - not Florida's data. The Bill also seeks to require hurricane model data be provided to regulators as part of the rate review process.
The MA Gov website lists 12 significant hurricanes which have made landfall between 8/25/1635 to 8/19/1991 it's 2011 so that's 12 storms in 376 years!
A significant amount of my testimony focused on disputing Attorney Robert Tommasino's and two insurance industry lobbyists testimony. Attorney Tommasino stated the MA Fair Plan hasn't had a significant rate increase in years. Tommasino neglected to mention the Fair Plan managed to get the Division of Insurance to increase homeowners on the mainland's Wind deductibles from 1% to 2% and homeowners on the islands wind deductible from 2% to 5% without going through a public rate filing hearing or reducing our rates for the higher deductibles. The Division of Insurance decided the wind deductible change was a "rule" not a rate change. The Division of Insurance was wrong; Paula and I fought it, but have yet to win that fight.
Attorney Tommasino also stated the Fair Plan applies credits if a homeowner takes steps like installing hurricane strapping and shutters to prevent hurricane damage. What Tommasino didn't disclose is that it would cost a homeowner thousands of dollars to qualify for a credit on their policy. I checked a policy prior to the last rate hearing I attended and the hurricane mitigation credit was $32 - the small credit most likely reflects the fact the average wind claim is below the 2% to 5% wind deductible...
My testimony against the lobbyists including exposing the fact the insurance industry owns at least one hurricane modeling company. ISO (Insurance Services Office) owns Air, Inc. which always has the highest storm estimates in the industry. Another hurricane modeling company, RMS, is managed by former reinsurance executives. The insurance industry outsources hurricane modeling to circumvent the regulatory process.
I don't expect the MA Fair Plan to play fair; I gave up hoping they'd play fair almost 8 years ago.
I do expect the MA Fair Plan and the insurance industry lobbyists to tell the truth and when they didn't, I disputed their testimony.