NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Governor John Bel Edwards has called for a special session to address Louisiana’s current insurance crisis.
The session will discuss the appropriation of funds to the Insurance Incentive Fund. The fund was created in the 2022 legislative session with the goal of attracting more insurance companies to Louisiana.
State Senator District 5 Royce Duplessis wants to work through the insurance crisis in Louisiana with other lawmakers and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon during the special session.
“There’s no question that we have to take some sort of action. We are in a crisis. That is clear that $45-million to go in an incentive fund to me if successful would have to be one of many steps that would have to take place,” Duplessis said.
Yet for him, there are still many questions in regards to the $45 million incentive fund which would lure insurance companies to Louisiana.
“Is it incentivizing the right insurance companies? We want good insurance companies that are coming in to do business that can deliver in a time of need,” Duplessis said.
After Hurricane Katrina there was similar incentive program, which is now raising more questions.
“We have to make sure the companies that come in are not fly by night companies,” Duplessis said.
Financial Professional and Wealth Advisor Gregory Ricks of Gregory Ricks & Associates- The Total Wealth Authority says no matter what you can’t drop your insurance.
“That would leave you uncovered, you are taking the risk of insurance company and put it on yourself completely,” Ricks said.
He went on to say, “This is one of the reasons you want to have an emergency fund.”
Ultimately lawmakers say they want the special session to benefit homeowners.
“To find solutions to reduce premiums, to reduce costs passed on to citizens,” Duplessis said.
“Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has stressed that funding the Insure Louisiana Incentive Fund cannot wait until the regular session in April. I am grateful for the cooperation of the Senate President and House Speaker and the legislature in calling this special session focused on this Fund. While Commissioner Donelon says we must do this now, this is just a first step in addressing Louisiana’s ongoing insurance issues after the devastating hurricane seasons of 2020 and 2021, a crisis worsened by hurricanes and wildfires in other states in 2022. We will continue to work on this issue during the regular session beginning in April,” stated Governor Edwards.
The session will be held at noon on Monday January 30th and adjourn no later than 6 p.m. on Sunday February 5th.