May 17, 2010

Tennessee Tragedy

“Nashville has obviously been hard-hit, and it’s a well-known city, but there are so many other counties in the state and areas … that have been hit very hard as well. A lot of people who didn’t have flood insurance, because they never thought floodwaters would ever come anywhere near their home, are really looking at a total loss of their home.”

—Gov. Phil Bredesen from Nashville following devastating floods there and in other areas of the state.

Category 5 Spill

“This has got all the characteristics of a Category 5 hurricane.”

—Wes Tunnell, coastal ecology and oil spill expert at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, explaining the seriousness of the BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The elements of the disaster: A relentless flow of oil from under the sea; a type of crude that mixes easily with water; a resultant gooey mixture that is hard to burn and even harder to clean; water that’s home to vulnerable spawning grounds for new life; and a coastline with difficult-to-scrub marshlands.

Miles of Destruction

“What we saw on the ground was miles of destruction. The tornado never left the ground. It meandered like a snake.”

—Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney after surveying central counties where tornadoes killed 10 people and destroyed at least 700 homes and did tens of millions of dollars in damage. Shopping centers, cars and farm buildings were destroyed and insurance estimates will likely exceed $50 million.

AIG Pride

“The external environment has been helpful for AIG in ways that it can’t take credit for. But there are things that they can take credit for. Stabilizing the insurance premium and retaining the confidence of their customers seems like something they can point to and be proud of.”

—Morningstar analyst Bill Bergman following American International Group Inc.’s report that it turned a quarterly profit after a year-ago loss, getting a boost from its investments and a stabilizing general insurance operations at Chartis.

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Insurance Journal West May 17, 2010
May 17, 2010
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