Throughout his tenure, Donelon has been a persistent advocate for the Louisiana citizens, fighting for an insurance market that benefits both homeowners and insurance companies. “We need insurance companies to come back to Louisiana, and this is the best way to get it done,” he said, outlining his vision for the state’s insurance industry.
A key element of the proposed package is a bill aimed at curbing rogue law firms from filing unmeritorious lawsuits against insurance companies. Donelon argues that these frivolous lawsuits have unfairly inflated costs for honest homeowners, thereby destabilizing the insurance market. By reigning in such practices, he hopes to make the state a more attractive market for insurance companies.
The proposed reform package also seeks to empower policyholders by allowing them to request a second opinion on damages from a public adjuster. This bill is a direct response to recent attempts by some insurance companies to prohibit policyholders from hiring a public adjuster for a second opinion on the extent of the damage and the estimated repair cost. This measure is expected to foster greater transparency and fairness in the claims process, placing policyholders on more equal footing with insurers.
In addition to these proposed legal and claims process reforms, Donelon’s legislative agenda involves the full implementation of the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program. This program offers direct incentives to homeowners to construct stronger roofs, thus reducing potential damage and subsequent insurance claims.
The legislative package includes a full implementation of the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program, which helps homeowners receive direct incentives to build stronger roofs, which in turn will lower their insurance premiums.
“Stronger roofs means fewer insured losses and lower rates. That’s why we are encouraging homeowners to build FORTIFIED by bringing bills that will require insurance companies to offer a discount and an endorsement to upgrade their policyholders’ roofs to the FORTIFIED roof standard of IBHS,” said House Insurance Chairman Mike Huval. “This program will help a lot of folks resist storm damage in the near future while potentially reducing residential property insurance costs for the entire state in the longer term
Donelon noted that a similar program in Alabama has already seen great success, leading to the construction of 36,000 homes built to Fortify standards and homeowners enjoying discounts on their insurance. It’s a win-win scenario, he argues, which would benefit homeowners by making their homes safer and more resilient, and insurance companies by reducing claims.
The upcoming legislative session promises to be a transformative period for Louisiana’s insurance landscape, as these proposed reforms aim to strike a balance between the rights of policyholders and the interests of insurance companies. If successfully implemented, Donelon’s ambitious package of reforms may serve as a blueprint for other states grappling with similar issues, ultimately redefining standards of transparency, fairness, and resilience within the insurance industry.