Watch for It – Brickstreet Conversion

The other day I read in the paper where Brickstreet no longer wishes to cover state agencies because the claims exceed the premium dollars.  Hmmm.  Normally that would result in a premium increase request not a desire to walk away from a large part of a company’s customer base.  Wonder if anything else is going on?

I speculate as follows.  Brickstreet is presently a mutual not a stock company.  This means it is owned by its policyholders not by shareholders.  On occasion mutuals convert to stock companies which then leaves the policyholders as just that – customers – and the ownership with its benefits flows to the shareholders. If Brickstreet were to be sold now to a larger insurance company that would require the approval of the policyholders/owners (West Virginia being probably the largest one) and if approved the dollars would go to these policyholders/owners.

Now if Brickstreet can “dump” state agencies then it can convert to a stock company and the approval process would not include the scrutiny of a “big dog” owner like the state.  Most policyowners would probably go ahead and approve the conversion since no one would have much of a vested interest in studying the proposal, hiring experts or negotiating for a better deal.

Once the conversion is approved, customarily stock options are issued to insiders.  Then if the company is sold the insiders walk away with a “ton” of cash. 

Something for the Legislature to consider and be aware of it seems to me.

This is just speculation on my part but I have to wonder. 

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The People Have Spoken

In the special election to replace Senator Byrd, approximately 12% of West Virginia‘s registered voters filled out a ballot.  In yesterday’s Charleston city elections primary only 7.9% of register voters participated.  Some observations on this.

1.  The people have spoken and what they say more often than not is “We don’t care.”

2.  In America no one has to vote.  People who bemoan low voter turnout as a “bad thing” need to understand every American has the absolute right not to vote if he or she doesn’t want to. 

3.  I am not sure that 35,000 people voting one way or another necessarily produces a better result than 3,000 people voting on the same issues.  Why should it?

4.  If people want to vote and are somehow prevented from doing so then, yes, we should all fight against that.  If people can vote but choose not to, well quite frankly that’s up to each person individually.


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