News 15 Investigation: Louisiana Home Insurance Crisis

News 15 Find out what is being done to improve Home Insurance issues in Louisiana.

Lafayette, LA (MOTHER)-The State of Louisiana is in a state of emergency when it comes to homeowner’s insurance due to hurricanes especially for those who live in coastal cities in South Louisiana.

We take an in-depth look at the current situation … as News 15 investigates what’s being done to help those who feel they have few options when it comes to buying home insurance. Delima Insurance continues to be hit here in Louisiana. More than 20 insurance companies have gone under or left the state in the last two years. This has forced hundreds of families to pay higher premiums or simply go without insurance altogether.

Levi Kastner is an Insurance Broker. He said, many different things have to happen in order for many people in the state to get more home insurance. Kastner said “I think it’s going to take a little bit of a multi-step approach to deal with the returns from builders, to builders, to individuals who are taking good care of their homes. We’re going to build in strict construction rules and then we can get approvals that will allow new insurance companies to come into the market.”

Teresa Pastor has been a real estate agent in Lafayette for 13 years. He has helped hundreds of people buy and sell homes in that time. Right now it’s the worst he’s seen the state of home insurance in Louisiana and he says it directly affects how and what homes people can buy. “The bottom line is that it affects the monthly income, it definitely affects the price of a house or a person’s ability, and it slows people down because if everything they see on the market is bad for them of course the money will not be drawn. provoke,” Pastor said.

Anita Landry lives with her husband in this house in Delcambre. Have had 3 different insurance companies in the last year. Now they are with Louisiana Citizens which is the state insurance of the last one. The Louisiana Department of Insurance approved a 63 percent increase for Louisiana Citizens that went into effect on January 1st. Landry said he is upset that he doesn’t have home insurance.”I don’t think we have a choice. Donelon. Once Rita passed, she just let things go and never did anything. I feel she never did anything to influence the insurance companies to insure the citizens of the state,” the Landry said.

Now to bring those numbers down Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said he is asking lawmakers to let him use a $20 million surplus to help finance a bill will do what was done after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and it was very good. Cheers. Donelon said, “It’s called the Louisiana Insurance Incentive Program and it’s modeled after what we did after Katrina and Rita was very successful in attracting 30 small regional companies to our market to replace the National Carriers. It’s now out of all of the coastal markets. Coastal shows from Mexico to Miami all the way up the Atlantic Coast.”

Donelon and Governor John Bel Edwards have had many discussions recently about holding a special session next month so that action can be taken quickly on this insurance crisis.

The Governor said that he can wait until April 10 when the regular meeting is held. “I do not believe that we will have a special meeting but we will have the opportunity to make more money this year if we go to the meeting in April we can quickly make an additional amount of money can raise more money. this year in the incentive program that was re-established by law last year,” said the Governor.

Louisiana has endured 5 major hurricanes since Katrina hit the state in 2005.

Donelon said he knows Louisiana Citizens isn’t the only insurance for homeowners on the state’s coast. “We need the insurance that the private sector can and is the only one that the private sector can produce. The state can’t afford to take out the insurance for Hurricane Exposure.”

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