Post-election story on Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale

I thought this was a pretty good story from the Clarion Ledger about George Dale’s defeat in the Mississippi primary last week.  Dale seems like a classy guy, it’s too bad he had to go out this way. An excerpt from the story:

The commissioner has little power and walks a fine line in seeking to balance consumer interests with maintaining a viable insurance market. While politicians can promise low rates and rail against "Big Insurance," they cannot force companies to do business in the state, which ultimately is the only way to create competition and lower rates.

Insurance commissioners don’t fare well after major storms. Longtime Mississippi commissioner Walter Dale Davis quit in 1971 after going through Camille as did the commissioner after the hurricane of 1947. After Katrina, Louisiana commissioner Robert Wooley quit after receiving threats and having his car vandalized.

Dale had not planned to run.

"I was going to retire and do other things. Then the storm hit," he said. "I thought I had an obligation to be of service."

Dale said he thought he could overcome it, but was wrong. "There is no easy way to handle a storm."


Filed under Industry Developments

3 Responses to Post-election story on Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale

  1. jimmy smith

    In your blog you always make it sound so unfair, how Tricky Dick’s money against Dale is somehow wrong yet the insurance industry money supporting Dale is so righteous. No doubt there is/was an agenda behind both sides when the money was donated and I for one am glad Dale is history as I viewed him as speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
    I view only one of his rulings (in regards to if the insurance company could not prove what caused the loss then they had to give the doubt to the homeowner) as having any real substance and I sincerely believe that he did not realize at the time he issued the order the way this would be used in future court hearings against the insurance industry.
    As someone having a vested interest in the situation due to having lost a home, I followed the news closely and often after reading a quote from Dale in an article I would go review the issued directive and I always found that in his public speaking he was TOUGH on the insurance industry but yet when you read his directives they were worded so they did not have any real value to the issue. Dale may portray himself as not being a politician but I truely believe that his actions showed he knew how to speak like a politician and his directives showed he knew how to act like a politician (not biting the insurance industry which supported him monetarily) so as the saying goes if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it’s probably a duck.

  2. In reality an insurance commissioner has relatively little influence in setting policy, the job is mainly concerned with implementing the directives of the legislature and reviewing rate increases and decreases. So it’s really unlikely that Dale was the source of significant problems. As for it being unfair that Scruggs opposed him, that is Scruggs’ right as an American and I don’t think it is unfair. I do note, however, that the candidate that he backed is even more beholden to trial lawyers than Dale supposedly was to the insurance industry.

  3. Mark Mays

    How interesting now that Dickie is indicted for bribing judges in a Katrina case! The truth, though it is stomped into the ground, will always rise. George is a good man, who has risen above the ugliness, greed and slander. He is being honored statewide as the public servant he has alwasy been. God bless him.
    Mr. Scruggs, on the other hand, I hope you look good in orange!