What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Allstate Cancels Policies in Brooklyn, NY, Blames Katrina

by Ana Maria

In an attempt to boost its ever growing and obscene amount of profits, Allstate is dropping like flies its Brooklyn customers who’ve faithfully paid their homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Are you kidding me?! Brooklyn as in . . . New York?!

Damian Young got the news last fall by mail: Allstate was dropping him, and he’d have to find another insurance company to get coverage for his brownstone. “[The letter] alluded to Hurricane Katrina and said they’re unable to carry the risk of living in coastal areas,” says the actor. “I live in Park Slope. I was like, What? This doesn’t make sense!” [Emphasis added.]
The Storm Before the Storm
New York Magazine
Park Slope is in Brooklyn, New York. Dropping insurance coverage in Brooklyn because Katrina hit the Gulf Coast is only about dollars and cents. The only sense this makes to me is nonsense.

What is this? Are Allstate and other insurance companies beginning to admit that they are deliberately choosing not to do business with the Americans who live along our nation’s beautiful coastlines?

Remember that the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration states
“Populations and built environments in coastal watersheds are growing rapidly, with 55 percent of the U.S. population already living within 50 miles of the coast.” [Emphasis added.]
“The Coastal Community Development Partnership”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Wow. That’s a lot of financial vulnerability that 55% of us are going to experience as private insurance companies opt out of the insurance business. 55%. That includes an awful lot of American families, businesses, places of worship, schools, hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and doctors’ offices . . . groceries, bakeries, dry cleaners, book stores, coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, appliance stores, cable companies, office supply stores, casinos, banks, gas stations, and so on and so forth that will have to scramble to find alternative insurance policies for their financial security.

For those who have a hang up about the 55% of us living along the nation’s coastal areas, here’s something to think about. SignalSuzie at DailyKos posted the following in response to the piece I wrote yesterday titled More "signs" of the times and which I had uploaded to my diary at DK.
I am a former Gulf Coaster who was living on the Gulf Coast of Florida for decades--because of military assignments. That's another reason for SHAME on the part of the Bush administration's rejection of insurance reform because they don't want to 'subsidize beach lifestyles!' What farce, what an insult. The number of military bases along the coasts in our country is huge--think about that. They put those bases along the coasts from Seattle south; from Texas to Florida; from Virginia to Miami. People move there when the military sends them to the bases. They raise families there and they retire there to remain close to a military community they've dedicated their lives to. So, they too suffer losses when hurricanes or other natural disasters strike. I had friends who lost EVERYTHING when Hurricane Andrew struck Homestead AFB in South Florida (MIAMI) in 1992. They had just had a baby, and of course everything in the baby's room was literally exploded along with their entire home.

Anyway, I still have family on the Gulf Coast, though I have now moved to the mountains to escape hurricanes. I'm glad to see that you're keeping the news going about how depraved the Bush administration is with regard to the suffering of good Americans. If there is a hell--they will be eternally damned to it for what they've done.
[Emphasis hers.]
Isn’t that something? I hadn’t really thought about the situation that way. And, I was born and raised 30 minutes from Keesler Air Force Base. Traveling about three hours round trip every day, my father worked as an electrician at Avondale Shipyards, one of the largest employers in Louisiana, on the West Bank of New Orleans. Avondale builds military ships and is currently owned by Northrop Gunman.

Signal Suzie’s comment brought much to mind. Of course, if military personnel are stationed somewhere for any length of time, that is where they would buy homes. Community springs up around bases all the time. With military personnel—just like other employees of major employers in an area, additional services and businesses spring up so that the place is livable. Businesses spring up to provide the needed goods and services. You know, grocery stores and the like. This is so obvious to be ridiculously embarrassing that we haven’t thought of it ourselves.

Shipyards that build military ships are usually located near water. So when blowhards start opening their mouths about not wanting to pay for “beach town” lifestyles, test their patriotism. Talk with them about the military families that are based in coastal communities, that build their lives and raise their families there, then retire where they have lived and worked for years. Ask these blowhards how they intend to tell these patriots that after laying their lives on the line, that we’re going to tell them that our nation is going to also subject them to financial vulnerability as well.

The point of any insurance is to gain some semblance of financial security. The point of the blowhards is to pretend that their financial security is the only one that matters. When insurance companies spout similar propaganda it seems it is mostly to protect their executives’ massive bonuses and gargantuan salaries. Allowing either to have their way leaves the rest of us financially vulnerable, and that is unacceptable.

As we look at the practical aspects of our individual and business financial security, one important thing to keep in mind is that regardless of where we live in this naturally beautiful piece of the planet that we call the United States of America, we all live in a place that has us buying some form of insurance: theft, auto, fire, wind, water, health, life, disability, worker’s compensation, business loss, etc.

When it comes to our own financial security as well as that of our families and our businesses, we must have options that the insurance industry decided in the 1960s to no longer provide. Specifically, one policy for both wind and water.

That is the point of the Congressman Gene Taylor’s proposed multiple peril insurance policy embodied in H.R. 3121. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-MA) and Subcommittee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) unanimously support H.R. 3121 because they support protecting the financial security of our families, communities, and businesses.

To bring this policy proposal into reality, let’s continue to contact by phone and email—and encourage our friends, neighbors, and relatives to d the same—our congressional representatives. When we buy insurance, we expect to purchase some semblance of financial security.

With Taylor's multiple peril insurance policy (H.R. 3121), our financial security will be in better hands.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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