Officials provide update about Insure La. Incentive Program
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Insurance gave an update about the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program during a news conference on Tuesday, March 14.
The application period for the first round of the program wrapped up on Friday, March 10.
Nine insurers collectively asked for a total of $62 million in grant money. Officials said that for each dollar an insurance company receives through the program, they must match the grant dollar for dollar.
The below insurers asked for grant money:
- Allied Trust Insurance Company - $6.5 million
- Applied Underwriters - $10 million
- Cajun Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (CURE) - $5 million
- Constitution Insurance Company - $10 million
- Elevate Reciprocal Exchange - $5 million
- Gulf States Insurance Company - $3.6 million
- SafePoint Insurance Company - $10 million
- SafePort Insurance Company - $2 million
- SureChoice Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (SURE) - $10 million
The Louisiana Department of Insurance will review the companies’ applications and will determine each insurer’s eligibility to participate and receive funding. Once the review is completed, the findings will be presented to the Louisiana Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
Insurance companies could begin writing policies as early as April of 2023, officials said.
The incentive program was set up through a bill proposed during a special legislative session back in January of 2023.
“We were able with their help to pass $45 million in funding for the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program during a special session last month in an overwhelming bipartisan manner,” said Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “It was absolutely vital to get this program running so we can provide relief to Louisiana residents facing the lack of options in the market.”
The goal of the legislation is to potentially improve Louisiana’s insurance landscape.
Donelon said the state is facing its toughest property insurance market since the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. He said several factors are contributing to the problems. There were unprecedented insurer losses from the hurricane seasons of 2020 and 2021. In addition, costs associated with inflation have made the situation worse.
“While coastal Louisiana is suffering more than other parts of Louisiana, the entire state will benefit from this incentive program,” said Rep. Mike Huval, a Republican representing District 46.
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Officials said the incentive program is critical to Louisiana because the sooner that funds can be distributed, the sooner that policyholders can get out of Citizens, Louisiana’s insurance provider of last resort.
The incentive program is not designed to be a long-term fix to Louisiana’s insurance issues, officials said. They added that although the program will attract several new companies to write insurance, homeowner’s insurance in the Louisiana markets will benefit the state.
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