Alabamians are among those crying foul over the discrepancy between what insurers charge for coverage and the payout when claims are made.
The Wall Street Journal, in a January feature about complaints from residents all along the South Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, highlighted activities of Alabama-based Homeowners’ Hurricane Insurance Initiative. The group is “lobbying against rates they say are rising so quickly they are causing foreclosures among working-class people and retires on fixed incomes, ” writers Valerie Bauerlein and Leslie Scism say in the Journal.
They report that the group’s coordinator, Michelle Kurtz, contends that coastal residents pay $3, 000 or more a year in insurance on a $150, 000 home while residents in other parts of the state pay less than $1, 000, despite widespread tornado damage there. Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling is quoted as saying that hurricanes have struck 10 times in 15 years while the 2011 tornadoes were a one-time event.
A database commissioned by the Legislature, which would allow the rates-versus-claims issues to be sorted and studied by zip code, hasn’t yet been completed, the Journal reports.