Louisiana realtors asking to halt proposed 63% insurance premium increase

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Realtors across New Orleans are asking for the state’s insurance provider of last resort to halt a proposed increase in home insurance premiums.

Earlier this month, Louisiana Citizens filed to increase insurance premiums on new or renewed residential policies by 63%.

In a statement, the coalition of realtors, led by Keller Williams Realty New Orleans Team Leader Jeffrey Doussan, said the increase will have “chilling effects on home values across the state.”

As insurance companies continue to flee Louisiana, either becoming insolvent or refusing to write new policies south of I-12, more homeowners are being forced onto the state-backed insurer of last resort.

“It is important that we share our expertise as an industry. Realtors have already seen deals at different price points fall through lately due to recent premium increases. If buyers can’t afford the insurance, they can’t buy the home. When too many buyers are disqualified from the market then we can expect a rapid decrease in home values,” said Doussan. “The Insurance Commissioner must prioritize the needs of Louisiana residents to have reliable insurance and for that insurance to be affordable.”

Realtors sent a letter to Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and launched an online petition which has gained nearly 200 signatures in five days.

Donelon said he plans to impose a program that has not been used since the months and years following Hurricane Katrina, incentivizing private companies to start writing policies in the state.

He said the groundwork is being laid, but that funding from the state legislature will be needed.

The commissioner said his office will have to analyze the Citizens’ rate hike filing, which will take around three or four weeks, before deciding whether to approve the increase.

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