The insurance industry remains hopeful that the unexpected election of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., as Senate Republican whip will not result in punitive legislation against the industry.
Lott was elected whip, the second-highest Republican minority leadership position, 25-24, over Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Nov. 15.
Lott is suing State Farm over the insurer’s decision to declare part of the damage from his house on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as partly flood-related and therefore not covered by his insurance.
And, he has vowed to introduce legislation in the next Congress that will repeal the anti-trust exemption component of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, the linchpin of the current state-based regulation of the industry.
Because of his seniority, Lott was also able to inject into the Homeland Security Department appropriations bill several million dollars to pay for a study of alleged anti-competitive industry practices uncovered by the handling of claims resulting from Hurricane Katrina.