HomeInsurance2 La. bills to protect policyholders after natural disasters pass to full...

2 La. bills to protect policyholders after natural disasters pass to full House

BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) – In Baton Rouge, the House Insurance Committee favorably passed two insurance bills aimed at protecting policyholders after natural disasters offered up by a Central Louisiana representative.

District 22 State Representative Gabe Firment’s House Bill 110 applies directly to insurance companies. It would require them to offer endorsements for policies with non-fortified homes in an effort to update those homes and make them more resilient. If you have the endorsement, in the case of a wind or hail storm, it would require the insurance company to update and replace the roof and bring it up to fortified roof standards.

House Bill 183 would ban what is called “assignment of benefits contracts,” meaning policyholders’ rights could not be transferred from the policyholder to a third party, like a contractor. If violated, it would be considered an unfair trade practice. These contracts were used following Hurricane Ida in Florida, in which contractors filed claims and lawsuits against insurance companies, receiving more money, but policyholders received higher premiums.

“Any penalties, any attorney’s fees, anything like that, the right to sue should belong to the homeowner,” said Matthew Monson with the Monson Law Firm, LLC. “They are the ones who pay the premium. And what happens when you have an out-of-state, not only law firm, but an out-of-state roofing company who comes in and carpets neighborhoods and acts in a very predatory manner? It hurts everybody in Louisiana. It’s a scheme to take advantage of people who are already suffering after a storm. It’s the lowest of the low.”

Both bills now move to the House floor for debate.

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