La. Senate Approves Privatization of Citizens Insurance

Louisiana should privatize its state-run “insurer of last resort,” the fastest-growing property insurance company since hurricanes Katrina and Rita sent homeowners and commercial policies upward, the state Senate voted on May 9.

Senators voted to approve a bill that would set up a system to put policies issued by the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. up for private bid, in hopes that a private insurer would want to buy them.

The approval came despite complaints from Sen. Walter Boasso, who said no company would be interested in bidding on Citizens’ risk-laden policies – many of them in coastal parishes and vulnerable to hurricane damage. Boasso questioned whether the privatization system would make the policies more expensive than Citizens’ policies are now – forced by law to be 10 percent higher than the market average.

“It just doesn’t seem logical to me,” said Boasso, D-Arabi.

But senators agreed that Citizens is broken and agreed to support the privatization plan sponsored by Sen. James David Cain, R-Dry Creek.

“Insurance is screwed up in this state. This company is screwed up,” said Cain, chair of the Senate Insurance Committee.

Senators voted 31-4 to approve the measure and send it to the House. Voting in opposition were Sens. Boasso, Butch Gautreaux, D-Morgan City, Nick Gautreaux, D-Meaux, and Gerald Theunissen, R-Jennings.

On the Net:
Senate Bill 195 is posted at