Monday, September 5, 2016

Bail Agents, I Think You’re In Trouble

A recent article in the Arizona Capitol Times highlighted two things that should give bail agents everywhere concern over how the whole insurance lobbying effort is going. You can read it here.

First, when talking about the Arizona Fair Justice For All Task Force recommendations concerning pretrial justice, the head of ABC said, “If it gets wheels, we’ll get involved.” Really? Man, I was out there, like, three times in the last six months, and each time I was there the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court was actually in the room running the meetings. If you don’t think this thing has “wheels,” then I’m not sure you know what a wheel even looks like. I think the insurance guy just missed this one. Every time I was there, I kept thinking, “Where are all the insurance people? It’s like they don’t even know this is going on.” I think I was right.  

Second, the headline of the story shows how the insurance companies like to make friends: “Bail Bond Industry To Fight Change to ‘No Money’ System.” It’s the usual, “we’ll fight them on the beaches” rhetoric, and it shows that the bail insurance companies really have no interest in finding a realistic place for bail agents in the future. All they know how to do is to fight to keep the status quo. It’s the only way they won’t lose any money, and finding an alternative for bail agents that exists within a “no” or even “less” money system is simply a no-win for these insurance dudes. And yet, you bail agents have apparently handed over your entire lobbying strategy to them.

For every big thing that happens in bail, there are twenty big things that the bail insurance companies miss. And when they find out about them (or if they find out; there’s a ton that’s happened where they’ve missed even the chance to fight), they fight them like crazy. Is it any wonder that word is getting out not to even speak to them anymore? And, as I’ve often said, most people don’t separate the insurance lobbyists from the agents. When the lobbyists vow to fight, people figure you’re fighting too. You all get lumped into the big group labeled, “People Who Want to Fight Us.” Do you really think anyone really wants to talk that group?

Bail agents, I still think your interests are different from the insurance companies’, and I think that allowing these companies’ lobbyists to work only for insurance interests will ultimately put you out of business.