Homeowner’s insurance policyholders may get checks this year out of money originally set aside to lure more property insurers into Louisiana. The $100 million Insure Louisiana Incentive Program was established in 2007 to provide matching grants to qualified insurance companies that come into the state and write new business here while taking a percentage of that new business out of Louisiana Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort. Five companies have taken $29 million out of the program, but the deadline for the last round of grants passed at the end of 2008 with no more takers, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says. If the remaining $71 million is split among policyholders, Donelon guessed it might come to $50 to $100 per policy.
Donelon, who spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club today, says he plans to push two major insurance reforms in the legislature this year:
-A mandate requiring coverage for nearly any “reasonably anticipated ancillary service” performed at a hospital, such as those provided by radiologists, anesthesiologists, or pathologists. Donelon says he’s already getting opposition from doctors, hospitals and insurers.
-A bill allowing only one named storm deductible per storm season. — David Jacobs
(This story has been changed since its publication.)