In the State of Mississippi, a policy holder filed a lawsuit seeking access to Mississippi Insurance Department records. The lawsuit is seeking records that would show the dollar amount of Katrina claims denied by insurance companies.
The courts in Mississippi and other coastal areas have loaded up with lawsuits related to claims denials by insurance companies. The claims get denied for a range of reasons but a lot deal with issues of whether or not the damage to property is the result of floods, the result of winds, storm surge, or flying debris.
The person filing the lawsuit, a Kevin Buckel, is also trying to get passed into law in Mississippi, a Policyholders Bill of Rights. Each time this proposal has been introduced into the State Legislature, the legislation has died in committee.
An article about this issue has been written in the Sun Herald and is titled “Appeal Would Reveal Claims Denied”.
Although the Mississippi Insurance Department is required to keep certain records and make them available to the public, this does not appear to be the case as it relates to the types of records dealing with claims denied. These are generally referred to as market conduct records and are exempt from public disclosure.
As part of this litigation, Buckel has got a few insurance companies to agree to pay more money on already paid claims. State Farm Insurance says they have paid an additional $88 million on 5,200 claims.