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Homeowners who lost insurance bracing for impact as hurricane season ramps up

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BATON ROUGE- Hurricane season is reaching its peak and homeowners are trying to find alternatives as insurance companies have been filing out of Louisiana. 

Even though hurricane season has been quiet so far, a dangerous storm can come almost out of nowhere. 

"We're the bullseye of hurricane targets," Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said.

Back in June, three companies left the state, leaving roughly 80,000 Louisianans scrambling to find a new policy before the next big storm. Hurricane Ida alone caused insurers to pay $13 billion dollars in claims. 

Right now, with fewer insurance companies available for homeowners, Donelon says he is working on an incentive program to try and lure insurance companies back to state, so citizens don't have to use Louisiana Citizens. 

Louisiana Citizens is the states insurer of last resort, and it is more expensive by law. A similar incentive program was used after Hurricane Katrina. 

Right now, Donelon says the only thing missing is the money. 

"We have the legislation in place, without funding, to replicate that incentive for companies to come write business in the coastal parishes," Donelon said.

Donelon did not say how much this will cost, but he hopes to talk to Governor Edwards and other lawmakers soon to discuss the program and the cost. 

For now, it's an uneasy time for homeowners as options for insurance are scarce. Donelon says those who lost insurance need to shop around. 

"There are alternatives available, and of course citizens by law use the least desirable because of the requirement that it be priced above the private sector," Donelon said. 

 

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