Louisiana Insurance Market Rebounds After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav

Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon told the crowd at “The State of the Insurance Market in Louisiana: Five years Post-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita” that the insurance market in Louisiana is stable, though more expensive. Commissioner Donelon attributed the stabilization to the $30 Billion paid by insurers in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, and to new consumer protection laws enacted by the Louisiana Legislature. As a result of the claims paid, nearly every home in the direct path of the storms has a new roof and the general infrastructure has been strengthened. And most weak trees were downed by the storms and are no longer a hazard to policy holders.

Consumer protection laws include a two year prescriptive period in which to bring claims against insurers, limiting hurricane deductibles to one per year, and increasing LIGA’s coverage limit for homes to $500,000. Other laws enacted that have strengthened the insurance market include a statewide building code and a percentage named storm deductible on homeowner’s policies.