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New Insurance Commissioner works to tackle insurance crisis

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Louisiana’s new Insurance Commissioner is already working to address the current challenges homeowners and drivers are facing.

“The crisis we’re in is unlike anything that anyone that’s lived in the state has seen before,” said Tim Temple.

Auto and Homeowners insurance are the two areas Temple is focusing on going into the next legislative session. He believes the first step in fixing these major issues is changing things on the regulatory side.

“We want Louisiana to be stable, predictable, well I want the department to be stable and predictable whether you’re a consumer or insurance company,” said Temple.

Once this happens, Temple said the department’s efforts on attracting new companies to come write in our state will pay off.

“I want you doing business in the state of Louisiana. I want to work with you so that you can do business in the state of Louisiana,” said Temple. “I want your competition benefiting the consumers in the state of Louisiana.”

Temple cited in the past few years, especially after natural disasters like flooding and hurricanes, that dozens of insurers became insolvent and even left the state; leaving about five companies to write 80% of the policies statewide. Temple sad new legislation and changes to the insurance environment will ensure that does not happen again.

“Make sure the companies that come in they got the right business plan, they’ve got the right management in place, they have the financial reserves, they’ve got the right reinsurance so that when a catastrophe happens, they have the financial resources,” said Temple.

Some of the proposed legislation Temple plans on introducing this session are creating a clear and fair claims process so insurers can adjust claims and pay policy holders as quickly as possible, changing the three-year rule that tells companies they have to do business with people after a certain amount of time, and even switching the filing process for insurance companies to ‘file and use’ so they can start writing policies faster. Temple believes all of these changes will bring us up to par with other states around the country.

“We’re not asking the legislature, we’re not asking you as citizens, we’re not asking you as businesses to support experimental legislation,” said Temple. “These are all things that work and have been proven to work in other states.”

The legislative session starts at noon on March 11.

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