La. Insurance Commissioner-elect calls for “fundamental changes,” special session

Insurance Commissioner-elect Tim Temple is seeking support for another special session to address Louisiana’s growing insurance crisis.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - After his opponent dropped out of the race following qualifying in August, Tim Temple became Louisiana’s insurance commissioner-elect, set to replace outgoing Commissioner Jim Donelon.

Temple has already taken steps toward fulfilling that new role, seeking support from legislators and gubernatorial candidates for support of another special session to address Louisiana’s growing insurance crisis.

“I think we need to have a special session as early in the year as we can once everyone’s sworn in. I’m not saying we do it the afternoon of January 8 or even the morning of January 9, but we certainly need to do it as early as possible,” explained Temple. “People just can’t wait for reform to take place. I truly believe that if we do some of the reforms that we come up with, the ideas, and create a legislative package, that it will move the needle quickly. It will encourage companies to come in and write.”

In February, the state legislature convened for a brief special session addressing insurance, approving $45 million toward the Insure Louisiana Incentive Fund at the urging of Commissioner Donelon. Many lawmakers and Donelon agreed addressing the crisis could not wait until later in the Spring, fearing it would be too late to lure insurance companies into doing business in the state so close to hurricane season.

As of May, reports indicate just over 17,000 new policies have been written as a result of the program.

Temple believes “fundamental changes” need to happen to reform the state’s insurance climate, creating new policies that will incentivize companies rather than financially incentivizing them.

He hopes to have a package of legislation ahead of a potential special session that focuses on policy changes, an effort to not “rush to failure” in asking legislators to convene for taxpayer-funded time in Baton Rouge.

”Get all the stakeholders and the table, and let’s discuss what’s important. Let’s agree on what we can agree on to work to move forward,” said Temple. “I don’t think anybody wants to raise their hand and say, ‘I’m for, I’m in support of an environment that makes Louisiana the most expensive state for auto insurance or homeowners insurance.’ So, let’s agree that we need to make some changes.”

Temple lost in 2019 in a run for the seat against Donelon. He said he has not campaigned for two months, but rather for four years. Having worked for 20 years in the insurance industry, Temple believes his experience will prove beneficial for bringing reform to Louisiana insurance.

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