Here is a story by Michael Kunzelman of the Associated Press about an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Insurance into Allstate’s claims adjusting practices. The investigation stemmed from hundreds of complaints, and Allstate apparently led the pack among insurers although State Farm is a bigger presence in the state. Officials, to the surprise of the insurance commissioner, found Allstate performed as it should have. The commissioner is also ordering a review of the claims handling of St. Paul Travelers. For a perspective of the people who complained, here is a story from Rebecca Mowbray of the New Orleans Times-Picayune about some of the folks upset by Allstate’s cancellation of their homeowner policies.
Now, one question that arises out of this: an investigation into State Farm is not mentioned in this story, and I’m inferring that there hasn’t been one. State Farm is Louisiana’s biggest insurer, and presuming State Farm’s claims handling protocols were much the same if not exactly the same in Louisiana and Mississippi, why are we not hearing the loud chorus in Louisiana about State Farm’s conduct that we hear from Mississippi? I think the real, unwritten story behind all of these Katrina cases is the answer to that question.