Nearly 100,000 Louisianans set to lose homeowners insurance this summer

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 9:24 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Close to 100,000 policyholders will lose their insurance coverage this month and in mid-July and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon addressed the insurance crisis Thursday (June 16).

Donelon said the June 22 cancellation date of 30,000 Lighthouse Excalibur policies has been pushed back to June 30. Additionally, another insurer, Maison plans to cancel about 12,000 policies on June 30. Donelon announced that yet another insurance company, Southern Fidelity will cancel more than 40,000 policies in July.

“Southern Fidelity is a Florida-based insurer with about 42,000 policies in Louisiana. Florida placed them, that company into liquidation yesterday which means Southern Fidelity’s Louisiana policyholders will have their policies canceled on July 15. Like Lighthouse policyholders, Maison and Southern Fidelity policyholders need to contact an agent now to find a new policy if they’ve not already done,” said Donelon.

Donelon says there are other insurers in the private market in the state and Louisiana Citizens, the insurer of last resort is in good shape and can absorb people who cannot get insurance from private companies.

Some insurance agents FOX 8 has spoken to say they have never seen it so bad, in terms of the insurance landscape, in the state.

Jennifer Clements is with Dan Burghardt Insurance and shares that opinion.

“Honestly, our calls have probably doubled in the last three weeks, we went from receiving maybe 200 calls a day to 400 to 500 calls a day and we get all sorts. We get, our policy is canceled, what can you do?” said Clements.

Donelon was asked about that sentiment.

“Let me assure you that our predicament and challenge at this point is much less than it was 15 years ago in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita and based on the numbers that Citizens provided me this morning we’re approximately three times as many policies as they’re placing on their books are being asked for quotes and not being sent to Citizens. There are still markets out there available in the private sector to write policies and I think that market will only increase as we go forward,” said Donelon.

He said claims for Lighthouse are being handled by LIGA, the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association and LIGA will soon begin handling claims for Southern Fidelity.

Donelon says he understands the angst being experienced by policyholders and insurance agents trying to help them find coverage.

“We will get through this. We will take care of our policyholders, their agents will, we will here at the Department of Insurance and get them placed in a place of comfort and protection instantly through this hurricane season,” said Donelon.

Clements was asked if she thinks the private market can absorb the majority of the policies that are being canceled.

“I mean there is a few out there, you know, the problem is getting them all done in a timely manner. A lot of the markets that are left go through very strict underwriting, you can just, it’s not just hitting a bind button like these companies that, you know, we no longer have.”

Donelon reiterated the need for those who have lost, or are losing coverage to contact their insurance agent right away. He said his office can also assist with helping policyholders.

The number to call is (800) 259-5300 and there is information on the Insurance Department’s website.

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