La. Lawmakers O.K. $29 Million for Property Insurers

December 21, 2007

Lawmakers approved using $29 million in taxpayer money as a financial incentive to bring five new property insurance companies to Louisiana.

The Department of Insurance required approval from the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee before they could issue checks to qualified firms.

The Legislature this year offered a program to take over policies now written by Louisiana Citizens Insurance and match money. The program aimed to heighten competition by luring more companies to Louisiana with lower property insurance rates.

Eligibile firms have no less than $25 million in net worth.

Creating the program with $100 million left $71 million in the fund. However, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said whether the entire $100 million is actually spent, depends on how many firms apply and qualify.

Donelon plans to solicit more companies to apply in 2008.

Committee-approved payments:
$10 million to Occidental Fire and Casualty of North Carolina.
$5 million to Imperial Fire and Casualty Insurance Co.
$5 million to ASI Lloyd’s.
$2 million to Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
$2 million to Southern Fidelity Insurance Co.

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