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Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple discusses approach to insurance crisis

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, February 26 2024 Feb 26, 2024 February 26, 2024 7:16 PM February 26, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Amid an insurance crisis, Louisiana policyholders are struggling to pay premiums. Newly-elected Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple discussed his plans to combat the crisis at a Press Club meeting Monday.

Temple said what Louisiana is experiencing is unique because sky-high rates are affecting policyholders on all fronts.

"We haven't had one where we've got a confluence of auto, of homeowners, commercial. Even worker's compensation," Temple said.

For homeowners, things quickly went south when four hurricanes hit Louisiana in a 12-month span, leaving behind devastation and more than 800,000 insurance claims. Insurance companies went insolvent and some people who paid premiums received nothing in return.

Temple said Louisiana auto insurance rates are the highest in the country. Temple attributes some of the problem to what he called "frivolous litigation," and pointing partial blame at personal injury attorneys.

He plans to address the rising rates with legislation and transparency from the Office of Insurance. Although he says there is no planned special session for insurance, he hopes during the regular session, some of the issues can be addressed.

"I know the governor recently said on his crime session, we need to rebalance the criminal justice system. Well we need to rebalance the legal system as it relates to insurance as well," Temple said.

Temple is taking ideas from other states as a model for what should happen in Louisiana. One of those ideas, is raising the tax deduction incentive for people to purchase a fortified roof. Temple said he spoke with an insurance commissioner from Alabama who has seen great success from the program.

"We're going to also ask that they raise that to $10,000 here in Louisiana so that we encourage and promote stronger roofs. We've got so many properties exposed to hurricane force winds. We need to make sure we're promoting fortified roofs," Temple said.

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