BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner held a meeting on Tuesday, July 5 on how to keep insurance companies in Louisiana.
According to Representative Mike Huval, there are ways to save money for both policyholders and insurance companies in the long run. Over 90,000 residents insurance policyholders in Louisiana have lost their insurance companies.
“A lot of time what was happening after these multiple hurricanes we had, the companies were just not prepared to respond, and what was needed, what they would be faced with,” said Huval.
Some insurance companies have gone broke from the large number of claims each year due to hurricane season.
Act 157 expands the requirements of what information is included in the Catastrophe Response Plan.
The act specifies that a written house plan must include an emergency contact for essential personnel, alternative work sites to be used in the event of a catastrophe, procedures for claims processing, plans for distributing catastrophe plans to policyholders and determining factors for the number of adjusters.
In these plans, the Louisiana Department of Insurance will have the ability to determine whether the insurers’ catastrophe response plans are acceptable. The commissioner of insurance has the authority to take regulatory action against any entity that violates the law.
The new law is going to ensure Louisiana insurance companies are prepared for the massive influx and claims.
Another bill introduced by Rep. Huval was HB 612, which establishes the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program within the LDI.
“One of the best ways to you can prepare for a hurricane is to have a stronger structure,” said Rep. Huval.
The program would create an incentive for Louisiana homeowners to retrofit their roofs to meet the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) “Fortified Roof” standard. The Commissioner of Insurance would issue rules for eligibility requirements and administration of the program.
He said during the press conference that other states are using this method and it’s currently working.
“I’m excited to announce that we successfully passed the new Louisiana Fortify Homes Program this session,” said Rep. Huval. “Which will be placed within the Department of Insurance.”
Any Louisiana resident will be able to apply for a grant under the program.
Homeowners need to meet some eligibility requirements and pay for permits, inspection and similar fees. The grants will cover the additional costs to retrofit homes to the fortified roof standard in most cases.
Rep. Huval believes that this program will help a lot of people in most cases before or after a hurricane. He wants to see more people consider building a stronger structure.
“If you can save the roof, there is less chance of the interior of the home to be damaged,” said Rep. Huval. “Which means, first off a lesser cost. What it also does, it allows the resident of that home to go back home and live in that residence.”