June 1, 2016


Commissioner Donelon Names Richard Newberry

CEO of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.


Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced today that he has named Richard Newberry as the new Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens).

“As the insurer of last resort, Citizens plays a vital role in our property insurance market and we conducted a nationwide search to find an individual who will build on the successes Citizens has seen over the last several years,” said Commissioner Donelon. “I’m pleased to bring on board a proven leader who has 23 years of insurance industry experience encompassing operations, claims, technology implementation, financial reporting and much more.”

Newberry brings a wealth of experience to the position of CEO of Citizens. He has served in many capacities for Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company over his career. Beginning in 1993, he worked his way through the claims department from adjuster to Vice President of Claims. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.  He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Central Oklahoma.

“I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Vijay Ramachandran, who has led Citizens as interim CEO since 2015, for his tireless service to Citizens Corporation and to the people of Louisiana,” added Commissioner Donelon.

According to Citizens operating policies, Commissioner Donelon is responsible for hiring top-level managers at the state-run insurer of last resort. Mr. Newberry’s compensation package will be presented for approval to the Louisiana Citizens Board of Directors at its meeting in July.  

Fast Facts about Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation:

  • Over the nine rounds of the Depopulation Program, Citizens has reduced its overall policy count by nearly 60 percent from an all-time high of 174,000 policies in 2008 to fewer than 70,000 policies today.
  • Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon approved a statewide rate reduction for Citizens personal lines policies effective June 1, 2016. Although the impact of the filing will vary across parishes, the overall impact is a -2.4 percent rate reduction. Citizens attributed the rate cut to added competition in the homeowners market with some major insurers implementing rate decreases, as well as reduced reinsurance costs. 
  • Citizens Board of Directors recently approved a refinancing plan that will result in approximately $92 million in gross savings and a reduction in the assessment rate from 2.92 percent in 2016 to a projected 2.48 percent in 2017.
  • In June of 2015, Citizens received a two notch upgrade to its bond rating from Moody’s Investor Service. The upgrade from A3 to A1 reflects the state-owned nonprofit agency’s increased stabilization. 

 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