WorldPeace: The only insurance professional

Well, here we go again with the press chasing after the three crooked stooges (Perry, Sanchez and Morales) about insurance when the only insurance professional running for governor is WorldPeace who they ignore.

First, the two core issues in Texas are 1) equality and justice and 2) education. My three opponents will not commit to allocating a percentage of their appointments to women and people of color and will not commit to a $2,500 raise for teachers. And we are led to believe they are the only viable candidates for governor because the people couldn't care less about these issues that I have been promoting for over a year.

Now as a result of the other candidates for governor wanting to hide from the real issues, here comes this insurance discussion. Guess what, as per usual, the press having avoided WorldPeace like the plague and having refused to read his web pages have completely missed the fact that WorldPeace was an insurance agent before he was drafted into the U S Army in October 1970 (while Sanchez was dodging the draft and Morales was just turning 16 and dreaming of Diva.) When WorldPeace returned to the real world in May 1972, after honorably serving his country, he went back to work as an insurance agent.

During the next 6 years, WorldPeace worked as an insurance agent along with his father who had been an insurance agent since 1955. In addition, WorldPeace earned CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter) certificates from the insurance industry. Each of these required 30 hours of college level insurance courses and at least three years working experience in the insurance industry. (similar to the CPA requirements) Even today only a very few insurance agents have both of these designations.

The three stooges know about as much about insurance as they know about truth and honesty.

I refused to become a personal injury lawyer because of the trial lawyer abuse I saw in the 1970s as an insurance agent. I do not believe that people whose worth to society in terms of their projected life earnings should receive twenty times that amount in compensation for slips and falls. The trial lawyers were the prime catalyst of increasing the cost of auto insurance in the 1970s. But it was the juries who let them do it. Back then a car accident was like winning the lottery. 

Now in reaction, in Houston all the juries are tough as nails and they do not award anything much at all for any reason. They are now too adverse to awarding money to anyone. And the consumer has suffered in the process. 

At the same time, I think these mold settlements are way out of line. I have seen this all before in the insurance industry. The industry cannot survive these kinds of settlements in the numbers that claims are being made. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. And for the three stooges to go down that rabbit trail is simply ignorant and dishonest to the citizens of Texas.

It again comes back to the juries. If juries want to give these kinds of monies, then they are going to pay for it in insurance premiums. The insurance industry is not tied to the trial lawyers, it is tied to the juries. The trial lawyers are just doing their jobs. 

That being said, my attitude toward trial lawyers is that "Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."

The insurance industry needs more regulation for certain. But not by three known crooks who sop up business political contributions like there was no tomorrow. (Well, Morales is not doing so well lately ($20,000 since January 2.) It is hard to compete with real business prostitutes like Perry and Sanchez.)

The insurance industry has now become the whipping boy of the three stooges as they try to avoid the real issues of equality and justice and education. God help us all if any of these crooks are allowed to be governor in November. God help us if the press continues to refuse to report the truth about the candidates.

By the way, not only does Perry not have any insurance experience, he does not even have a law degree.

To the press: Now go run and tell that !!!

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas
No more corruption. No more Monicas.
God Bless Texas

February 13, 2002

_______________________

Candidates vow to rein in homeowners insurance
Democratic contender Tony Sanchez opened the campaign-trail discussion of the issue Monday
By Ken Herman

American-Statesman Staff

Wednesday, February 13, 2002


In a sure sign that it's an election year, Texas gubernatorial candidates are promising to do something about the spiraling cost of homeowners insurance.

Democratic contender Tony Sanchez opened the campaign-trail discussion of the issue Monday, calling for a new system to rein in insurance companies.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry, whose party generally champions deregulation, chimed in Tuesday by threatening to lead a legislative push for re-regulation if insurance companies don't mend their ways.

"It's time for the homeowners insurance market to get a correction," Perry said. "And if the insurance companies do not correct themselves soon, the state will do it for them." 

The ultimate threat, Perry said, would be a system in which insurance companies would have to get state approval to increase rates.

"I'm disappointed that we have to consider these strong actions, and I hope we can find ways to stabilize the market without legislation," Perry said. "But the status quo is unacceptable."

Sanchez said he favors legislation "to force insurance companies to justify any proposed premium hike, especially insurance companies that are not currently regulated."

Unregulated companies write the majorityof the homeowners policies in Texas.

Sanchez faces former Attorney General Dan Morales, Houston lawyer John WorldPeace and Waxahachie businessman Bill Lyon in the March 12 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Perry is unopposed for the GOP nomination. He took a timeout from the election campaign Tuesday to join in another campaign to bring the 2012 Summer Olympics to Houston. Perry attended a news conference in Houston and then flew to Salt Lake City to push that cause.

Morales spokesman Jim Moore said Tuesday that the former attorney general has a long history of "suing numerous insurance companies for rate abuse."

"And the difference between him and Tony Sanchez and Rick Perry is that the insurance commissioner would come from a consumer advocacy background," Moore said.

Insurance regulation in Texas changed in 1991 when the Legislature, at the urging of then-Gov. Ann Richards, freed companies from some regulation. Richards had made high insurance rates a prime issue in her successful 1990 campaign.

The revised system led to more freedom than anticipated when companies began writing more homeowners policies through unregulated affiliates.

Now, 95 percent of the policies are sold through the unregulated companies, Perry said. The average Texas homeowner's policy rate is now twice the national average. This year's increases are as high as 200 percent for some homeowners, according to the governor.

In addition to the high premiums, the coverage is becoming difficult for many Texans to get at any price.

Farmers, Allstate and State Farm, citing high losses from mold claims, last year stopped selling comprehensive policies to new customers. Farmers also said it would not renew those policies this year for existing policyholders. 

Those three companies control about two-thirds of the homeowners market in Texas.

In addition to threatening new regulations, Perry asked Attorney General John Cornyn to investigate the business practices of the major insurance companies.

"I'm concerned that the big insurance companies may be misleading Texas families about the changes they've made in homeowners coverage and costs in Texas," said Perry, who has received more than $870,000 in campaign contributions from insurance-related interests since 1997.

Cornyn, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, has received $190,000 from insurance interests since June 1997, prompting Democratic consultant Kelly Fero to question whether Cornyn should investigate the industry.

Fero noted that the $190,000 is the same amount Cornyn received from Enron-related interests. Cornyn cited those contributions in recusing himself from investigations concerning the fallen Houston energy firm.

"Will our part-time attorney general recuse himself from this one, too?" Fero asked.

David Beckwith, spokesman for the Cornyn Senate campaign, said there is no reason why Cornyn cannot investigate the insurance industry.

"If the Democrats are whining, then the trial lawyers must not want a vigorous investigation," he said, referring to a traditionally Democratic group. "Perhaps they fear that lawsuit abuse is part of the problem."

An insurance industry group welcomed Perry's initiative. 

"Once insurer losses are carefully analyzed, we believe this inquiry will point out some chilling facts about the vast sums of money insurers have been losing in Texas," said Jerry Johns, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service.

He cited mold claims as the biggest problem, noting that those claims increased 548 percent from the beginning of 2000 through the first six months of 2001. The average mold claim was $38,000, according to Johns.

Insurance companies have "been fighting for their very survival in Texas," he said.

Perry was skeptical.

"These rates cannot be blamed solely on the recent increases in mold claims," he said.

Tom Smith of Public Citizen, a government watchdog group, said the result became predictable as lawmakers and regulators chipped away at the 1991 legislative revisions.

"Perry's right," Smith said. "We've got to go back to the day when we had some real regulation of the insurance industry."


You may contact Ken Herman at kherman@statesman.com or (512) 445-1718.