By Jeff Palermo - Louisiana Radio Network
State lawmakers have approved legislation that sets up a 45-million dollar incentive fund that will be used to bring more insurance companies to Louisiana that will offer homeowners coverage. Senate Insurance Chairman Kirk Talbot says the goal is to reduce the number of Citizens Property Insurance policyholders who face a 63-percent rate hike this year.
“People need help, we need to respond and we are here to solve problems, in my opinion we need to pass this bill and give relief to people who need it,” said Talbot.
The bill passed on a 37-to-1 vote in the Senate on Friday. Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock was the lone no vote as he questioned whether the incentive fund would actually lead to more insurers who can supply homeowners coverage.
“Why would any insurance company want to take on a risk of a policy in Citizen or in the coastal parishes two months before hurricane season starts,” said Peacock.
Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says this is not the silver bullet to Louisiana’s insurance crisis and lawmakers will need to continue to address the problem even more in the regular session that starts in April.
“So that Louisiana is a place where insurance companies want to work and where are families and businesses can afford the insurance they need to be successful,” said Hewitt.