FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2015

Department of Insurance Issues State of Market Report for the Ten Year Anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon released a new report on Louisiana’s insurance market as the Louisiana Department of Insurance hosted the State of Insurance Markets Ten Years Post-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Summit today at the University of New Orleans. The report details the effects of two of the most costly disasters in United States history and how the Louisiana insurance market has grown over the past ten years. Commissioner Donelon was joined by Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney as well as business leaders and representatives of the property and casualty insurance markets.

“Through the efforts of so many in the public and private sectors and the resiliency of our residents, Louisiana has weathered the challenges that were left in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our insurance market has come back stronger and more diverse ten years later and our consumers have more options, more competition and more reasons to expect a bright future,” says Commissioner Donelon. 

 Among the facts shared in the report are:

  •  Louisiana now has 22 new insurers operating that were not here in 2005, an outcome attributable in part to strategies including legislative reforms, active recruitment of companies and the Citizens Property Insurance Depopulation program.
  • Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) market share has decreased from a ten-year high of 9.8 percent after the storms to 1.8 percent today.
  • From 2008 to 2015, Citizens moved from the third largest insurer in the state to the ninth largest insurer in Louisiana, a move that means more consumers are able to secure policies through private insurers at lower premiums.
  • In 2014 Louisiana homeowners’ rates rose 2.8 percent on average which is the lowest statewide average rate increase since 2005.

Commissioner Donelon credits many factors for the recovery of the private insurance market including the creation of a mandatory statewide building code in 2005 and the incentives passed by the Legislature in 2007 to encourage homeowners to strengthen their properties against storms. Insurance premium discounts offered to those who comply with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code apply to new and retrofitted, one or two-family, owner-occupied and modular homes and are generally up to 20 percent in coastal areas. The Legislature also passed legislation tripling the safety net of the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association by increasing the coverage provided homeowners from $150,000 to $500,000 per claim, allowing for consumers to be confident when purchasing coverage from a company that is not a household name.

Panelists for the event included Jeff Albright, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana; Richard Clements, Professional Insurance Agents; Blythe Lamonica, Coalition to Insure Louisiana; Vijay Ramachandran, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Caitlin Berni, Greater New Orleans, Inc.; Michael Hunnicutt, Louisiana Floodplain Management Association; Tony Hake, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Mark Lujan (FEMA); David McKey, National Association of Realtors; Chuck McMains, Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America; Kevin Cunningham, American Insurance Association; James Lynch, Insurance Information Institute; and Bonnie Steen, Louisiana Surplus Lines Association. 

The full report is available at www.ldi.la.gov/katrinasummit.

 

 

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov.