Commissioner Donelon recaps successful 2023 Legislative Session for Louisiana’s insurance market

Published 10:46 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

BATON ROUGE — Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon worked with Senate Insurance Committee Chair Kirk Talbot and House Insurance Committee Chair Mike Huval during the 2023 Legislative Session to pass several measures aimed at stabilizing the state’s property insurance market. The package includes bills related to the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program, Insure Louisiana Incentive Program and more.

“Louisiana made significant strides in addressing one of the major issues facing our state, which is the crisis of availability and affordability of property insurance,” Commissioner Donelon said. “We worked closely with state leaders to pass legislation that will help Louisianans suffering through this insurance crisis while making our market more attractive for insurance companies to do business.”

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) worked closely with state leaders, including Governor Edwards, Senate President Page Cortez, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and others, to fund the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program with $45 million during a Special Session earlier this year. The program, which provides matching grants to insurance companies that agree to write at least half of their new business in south Louisiana, has eight participants that were collectively approved for $42 million in funding. House Appropriations Chair Zee Zeringue authored legislation this session that appropriates an additional $10 million to the program. The $13 million in remaining grant funding will be offered to insurers in a soon-to-come second application period.

The Legislature also appropriated $30 million to the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program this session following its creation in 2022. The program allows residents to apply for grants to repair or replace their roofs using more robust building methods that meet or exceed the FORTIFIED Roof standard of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Although homeowners will need to meet some eligibility requirements and pay for permits, inspections and similar fees, the grants will provide them with up to $10,000 toward the total cost of replacing their roof to the FORTIFIED standard. LDI staff are currently working to register contractors in the system, and homeowners can expect to begin applying for grants in October.

These measures are not the only insurance-related legislation that passed this session. Other important pieces of legislation that passed with the LDI’s support include Senate Bill 96, which immunizes Louisiana Citizens from class action lawsuits for untimely payment of claims and from bad faith penalties; House Bill 183, which prohibits assignment of benefits between policyholders and repair service providers such as roofers and contractors; Senate Bill 156, which prevents insurers from prohibiting a policyholder from hiring a public adjuster; and Senate Bill 143, which prohibits former officers and directors of the recently failed insurers from serving as an officer or director of an insurer doing business in Louisiana.

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.