Nathan Stubbs

Citizens seeks rate increase

by Nathan Stubbs

Citizens’ Property Insurance, the state’s nonprofit insurer of last resort, wants to raise property insurance rates an average of 18 percent statewide. Citizens bases its rates on other insurers’ prices in order to remain competitive and says it can no longer put off the price hike. The higher rates could take effect as early as October. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon must first sign off on the deal.

Citizens is facing opposition to the plan from the state senate insurance committee, which held a special meeting last Thursday in Vermilion Parish to discuss Citizens’ proposal. Committee chair Don Cravins, who is running for Congress, and state Sen. Nick Gautreaux say that Citizens is yet to have its executive committee approve the new rates. “Even if their board does approve the increases, I will urge Commissioner Donelon to reject the increase immediatedly,” Cravins says in a press release issued Friday. "We cannot allow Citizens to raise rates on our citizens along the coast when there is still no private insurer for them to turn to."