Insurance reform package aims to help Louisiana storm victims

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:10 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A major announcement has been made for storm victims still battling their insurance companies. This comes in the form of a reform package filed to place protective measures for policyholders, inform policyholders of their rights, and establish non-adversarial dispute procedures.

Insurance problems are an all too familiar issue for many of the storm victims of Southwest Louisiana.

“They’re [insurance companies] not living here with us, so they don’t know what’s going on. They’re not going through it and when we’re prepared and when we’re ready, you can work and put your building back together, but they’re delaying and you’re waiting on them. That’s very frustrating,” Nicholas Perioux said.

It’s been almost 19 months since Perioux has had customers enjoying Lake Charles’ own Pat’s of Henderson. But he says if not for problems with their insurance they’d have reopened much sooner.

“With us, it was definitely a ripple effect because we were prepared,” Perioux said. “We could have put the restaurant back together quickly.”

While Hurricane Laura came and left, the battle with their insurance lasted for over a year.

“If anyone’s in my shoes, what I hope happens with this bill is that people get help a lot quicker,” Perioux said.

Sen. Jeremy Stine says his reform package includes seven bills that tackle problems many all across the state have faced.

“We feel that this storm victims package is a reasonable approach,” Sen. Stine said. “This insurance package is to disincentivize bad actors in the insurance industry and provide transparency and accountability around the entire insurance industry and provide hopefully some sort of relief for these storm victims,” Stine said.

The Major Storm Victims’ Insurance Reform Package includes the following bills:

  1. SB 208 Requires an insurer pay increased penalties for not timely paying a property insurance claim that is related to a catastrophic event
  2. SB 209 Authorizes the commissioner of insurance to order certain penalties to persons engaging in an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice.
  3. SB 210 Authorizes fine in lieu of suspension or revocation of certificate of authority for foreign or alien insurers.
  4. SB 212 Establishes the Hurricane Mediation Program.
  5. SB 232 Provides for a catastrophe claim process disclosure.
  6. SB 330 Establishes a registered adjuster database.
  7. SB 331 Provides for transparency involving residential or commercial property damaged by a named storm or windstorm.

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