June 22, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt
With hurricane season upon us state insurance officials urge people to make sure they have the coverage they need.
The devastation from hurricane Rita is still vivid in the minds of most, so it's easy to see how important it is to have good insurance coverage. Yet many people feel the frustration of dealing with insurance companies-- whether it's higher premiums or claims still unresolved.
Still, the state insurance commissioner has a statewide campaign urging people to evaluate their coverage. Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner Bill Newton brought the message to Lake Charles. "Make sure that you understand what your policy covers. The commissioner's also been pointing out that less than fifty per cent of our property owners in the state actually have purchased flood insurance and it's really important you consider the exposure your property has to flood."
Since the hurricanes insurance is harder to get and premiums have skyrocketed. Newton says people deserve affordable, available and reliable coverage. "The state needs to have more insurance companies here because that will create a competitive environment that will give us a better price, a better product and a better transaction. And he says the companies deserve to be able to operate efficiently and make a profit."
Newton says they're working to get more companies to come to the state. "Lloyds of London, we've spoken with Bermuda, we've spoken to California companies that only insure coastal properties. And they are encouraged to come to Louisiana because of so much significant economic development going on as well as legislative activity."