Insurance agents fear rising homeowners insurance as companies leave Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — Homa native Lauren Rolfes says she still has damages to her motorhome, but with a vague answer from a Maisons insurance agent, she’s afraid she’ll receive the checks needed to get the work done.

“I called to ask if they rescind the policies and she said ‘Well, I’m not really supposed to answer these kinds of questions’…I’m still waiting for them to repay my Ida claim,'” Rolfes said. .

Rohlfs hopes to be in a better position because they recently renewed, but in a statement, Florida-based Fed Nat announced that Maison will not renew its policies beginning in January 2022. After Ida, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said they expect six airlines to withdraw together for the state.

“Over the past 15 years, many national carriers have reduced their exposure to it, not only in our state but in all coastal states,” Donilon said.

“We are in a much better position than we were when Hurricane Katrina hit,” Donilon said. “When Hurricane Katrina hit, Citizens was our third largest real estate insurer…I think those 30 small regional companies that we drew into the state, dozens of them will be out there looking for business when these six companies disappear from our state as a result of bankruptcy.”

However, Alyssa Bourgeois, an insurance agent at Eustis, says that with fewer insurance companies, it presents a simple supply and demand question of affordable homeowner insurance.

“What we see after Ida, we hardly have any carriers that we can cite,” Bourgeois said. “So while prices are going up we no longer have 10 or 15 companies, we can reach out to check carriers and check prices everywhere. It is almost impossible to provide home closing insurance that would be affordable because in the past we had 15 or 20 options. Sometimes I have one choice and it’s crazy.”

Bourgeois says the market is cyclical although she warns homeowners should be prepared for fewer and more expensive insurance options.

“It was really, for a few years after Katrina, that Citizen, the insurance company of last resort, was kind of a go-to, and that might be the case for a year or two we don’t really know. The message at all is to be patient. And do whatever you can do to make your current policy affordable to renew and work with your agent to see what you can do,” Bourgeois said.

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