MONROE, La. (KNOE) – A special season to debate Louisiana’s insurance crisis begins next week in Baton Rouge.
“This was a bill we passed in 2022, and they want us to put some dollars towards that fund to hopefully either attract or obtain existing state insurers in the property and casualty market,” State Representative Michael Echols (R-14) explained.
Bryan Stephenson of Galligin Insurance in Monroe says rates have increased in Northeast Louisiana, but the situation is better than it is in the Southern part of the state.
“Homeowners insurance overall, prices are increasing,” Stephenson told KNOE. “They’re having to offset the number of claims they have had to pay down south and the hurricanes that have come up here over the last two or three years.”
Stephenson adds the market is not at risk of collapsing in Northeast Louisiana.
“Because we don’t have the threat of hurricanes as often or huge catastrophes, companies are better able to model what they do as far as pricing to keep us insured,” said Stephenson.
Echols supports adding money to the state incentive fund. He says without it, banks may stop lending to potential homeowners.
“Lenders require you to have insurance on your home,” said Echols. “If that market goes away and you lose insurers, they’re unwilling to insure your home. The ripple effect could be your lenders decide not to lend anymore, and you completely destabilize the market.”
Echols says adding money to the fund to incentivize insurers to write more policies is a short-term fix. He says lawmakers will propose other ideas during the legislature’s regular session, which begins in April.
“Some of those go back to building codes and ensuring that we have flood resilient building codes in place that roofs are built to a certain standard to withstand hurricane force winds,” Echols said to KNOE.
Stephenson adds this is the worst he’s seen the insurance market in Louisiana, but believes it will all balance out.
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