La. House Insurance committee discusses reform legislation

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - There’s a move to reform the way homeowners insurance claims are handled, in the wake of Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

Several bills were heard by the state house insurance committee today.

Representative Brett Geymann was there with HB 585 that would have cost insurance companies more if they were found to be operating in bad faith. Geymann told insurance committee members horror stories of what Southwest Louisiana residents have been through trying to get enough money to rebuild.

“We’re nine months almost and we still have blue tarps everywhere, and we have people who are not in their homes, have not started work in their homes because the insurance companies and them cannot agree,” Geymann said.

He told committee members the status quo is not good enough.

Two Southwest Louisiana residents told the committee about their recovery nightmares. Kerry Andersen’s home is in Lake Charles.

“Eight months of this, I want to go home. I want my home fixed, and I’m just here today begging all of you for help,” Andersen said.

Robin Baudoin is from Sulphur.

“They gave me a claim number and promptly sent me to the temporary living department who kept telling me they’d get me a room in Lake Charles, and I’d be okay. I kept telling them there were no rooms in Lake Charles, much less hotel rooms,” Baudoin said.

Earlier, State Farm spokesman Rodney Braxton said overall, they have done a good job taking care of their insureds.

“I’m sure we could bring up many satisfied clients of State Farm in the same area that don’t have a complaint,” Braxton said.

The bad faith provisions of Geymann’s bill were taken out before it was favorably reported to the house, but consumer advocates are still hopeful there will be meaningful reform during this session of the legislature.

To watch the full insurance committee meeting, click here.

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