Monday, September 4, 2017
Week of 09/04/2017
Harvey’s Victims To Be Victims Again
The recent devastation in the Texas area from Hurricane Harvey has proven one thing... that we haven’t learned a damn thing since Hurricane Katrina hit twelve years ago!
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast back in 2005, it brought a huge storm surge as it came ashore, dumping not just rain but also ocean water well into the Louisiana state. And while most of the focus was on the failure of the levees in New Orleans and the damage caused by that, it wasn’t the only place damaged by the storm.
What made matters worse for homeowners was the realization that all of the money that they pumped into their homes, all of the money they spent on insurance to cover their homes from just such an emergency, all of that was washed away with the storm surge thanks to greedy and miserly insurance companies. And it was done in such an underhanded way that would make even the worst comic book villain jealous.
If homeowners had flood protection, then the insurance companies claimed the damage was from the wind and therefore not covered. If they did not have flood protection, then the insurance companies claimed the damage was from flooding instead of wind and therefore not covered. Either way, tens of thousands of homeowners were denied help because of the duplicitous and miserly sadism of greedy insurance companies. Sure they got some help, but not from the entities that should have owned up to their obligations in the first place.
Okay, so that was then. And there were a lot of things that went wrong at the time that needed to be addressed. Certain political figures made stupid decisions that they needed to own up to and fix. And you would think that one of those issues that would corrected would be the callous corporate greed involving homeowners insurance and what would be considered “wind damage” and what would be considered “flood damage”. You would think that budget-conscious GOP conservatives and neo-conservatives would want to make sure they aren’t in the position to bail people out again after being screwed over by Big Insurance. After all, they needed that money for their endless wars.
But that’s just not how the GOP rolls.
Sure enough when Superstorm Sandy came rolling through New York and New Jersey, nothing really was fixed. Big Insurance was still being the miserly, greedy, sadistic, screwjob selves and relying on Big Government to help those they screwed over. Worse yet, several members of the GOP actually voted against giving relief to those devastated by that not-really-a-hurricane storm. And can you guess where most of them came from? Right, the very state of Texas that today needs help from Hurricane Harvey!
That’s right, folks, the State of Texas - whose politicians opposed helping New York and New Jersey storm victims in 2012 - are now hurting. They got screwed over by Hurricane Harvey, and they’re about to get screwed over again by the same miserly, greedy, sadistic, screwjob insurance companies.
And the truly insulting part is... it should not have to be this way!
Let’s get brutally honest here... these miserly, greedy, sadistic, screwjob insurance company bastards need to be held to what they were obligated to cover. They were paid money to provide a service should the situation arise. A hurricane and the damage that comes with it counts as a “situation”. It does not matter if it is the rain that comes from the hurricane or the wind from that hurricane or the storm surge that was blown in by that hurricane; it is all part of that same storm, it is that simple!
And it really can be that simple. All it takes is either some simple legislation or a simple judicial decision that says storm damage is both wind and water and that Big Insurance cannot nitpick the difference.
But unfortunately it’s never going to be that simple, because Big Insurance companies influence the regulators that watch over them, and they buy the legislators and literally write the legislation for them, and they force judges to go along with their fine print separation of wind and water. They write the rules that they can use to screw over the American people and continue to take their money. “Simple” is a profane word in their greed-driven vocabulary. “Simple” keeps them from the money that they believe they are “entitled” to.
“Simple” also explains what they are doing in situations like this. If they promise to provide a service in exchange for money and they’ve been taking money all this time on that promise, and then something happens and they refuse to follow through on what they promise, then the simple word to describe it is “fraud”.
Think about this for a moment: if Big Insurance actually did pay out what they owed the people affected by Hurricane Harvey, then it would mean less money that the state and federal governments would have to generate to bail those areas out. How many of you supposed “deficit-conscious” conservatives would be opposed to that? It also means that the people wouldn’t have to take out a government-backed mortgage on top of their current mortgage at a time when our true economy is still pretty stagnant, which is less money that can be put back into that economy. Wouldn’t that be a good thing too?
Like most people, I don’t have a problem with the idea of insurance; but it comes with the caveat that it will do what it is designed to do, which is provide a safety net in the event of some emergency. That’s what you see in all their advertisements. They continually promise to be there for you in those times; to have your back when you need it. But if they can’t be trusted, what good is it to give them money for a service they won’t provide? Worse yet, why should we then be obligated to pay for that service through legislation and regulation? Because the other “simple” word to describe that kind of action that nobody wants to hear… is “extortion”. And, no, having it done by the government still does not make it “okay”.