Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Insurance commissioner optimistic for current hurricane season

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BATON ROUGE - Of Louisiana's 30 private insurers, six companies have either gone insolvent or pulled out of the state over the last two hurricane seasons.

On Tuesday, insurance commissioner Jim Donelon gave an update on the home insurance policies that were transferred to Louisiana Citizenssaying they plan to update their computer system during the next two weeks.

Last month, the state's insurer announced it was extending the deadline to apply through August because its current system could not handle the influx of applicants.

Even with an active hurricane season expected this year, Donelon says he's optimistic more companies won't go meet the same fate.

"I'm confident that we have solvent and capable companies in place that with the legislation we've passed in this just-concluded session and the lessons learned in that process. We learned an awful lot, and we have improved, I do believe, the system to better handle what we've been through the past two hurricane seasons," he said.

Part of that legislation will require new companies to put up $10 million worth of capital instead of the previous $3 million to operate in the state.

"The reason we're increasing that minimum capital in surplus is to have the owners of those companies to have more skin in the game, if you will. More of their own money on the table as we approach the next hurricane season."

It's estimated that hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida cost insurers more than $40 billion.


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