I am writing to disagree with your publication’s coverage of Senate Bill 160 by Sen. Don Cravins Jr in the June 11, 2008 article, “The Rising Son.” As executive director of the Coalition to Insure Louisiana, I can tell you that Cravins has worked for several years on legislation that will improve commercial and residential insurance capacity in the private market. Increased capacity means increased availability, which leads to decreased costs. SB 160 allows insurance companies to accurately manage their hurricane risk in the state and provides them the opportunity to write more coverage in all parts of the state.
SB 160 includes several provisions that protect consumers including the deductible amount being limited to not more than 4 percent of the value of the property being insured. And, if an insurance company increases deductibles, it must reduce rates as actuarially justified. In addition, the Commissioner of Insurance must approve any deductibles used by insurers and make sure that reasonable deductibles are used in each region of the state. Another consumer protection provision of the legislation is if a policy has multiple deductibles, only one deductible may be applied to a loss.
Cravins in trying to fairly address the homeowners’ insurance availability and affordability problem in the state. His legislation will provide assistance to his constituents, as well as residents across the state by increasing the number of homeowners policies insurers can write. The more insurance companies we have writing homeowners policies in the state, the lower the cost will be for everyone.
The CIL is a broad-based group of 40 professional and business organizations dedicated to maintaining the availability and affordability of private insurance markets that serve the needs of Louisiana citizens and businesses. Our members include Realtors, bankers, homebuilders, architects, and chambers of commerce. The coalition was formed prior to the 2005 hurricanes but has been very active in its efforts since Katrina and Rita.