NEW ORLIANCE (WVUE) – Insurance agents are under pressure as they struggle to find new coverage for tens of thousands of Louisiana residents who lose their insurance this month and next.
“I worked until 2:30 in the morning writing policies,” said Ross Fayard, owner of Amstate Insurance.
Fayard was already working to find new coverage for people who lost their insurance in June, and this week Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced that another insurer was canceling thousands of policies in mid-July.
“I’m running, you know, I’m like a bunch of other agents, we’re running without sleep. This is the worst moment that could happen, “Fayard said.
Earlier this week, Fayard told FOX 8 that there were about 800 customers affected by impending cancellations, and on Friday he said it had grown to more than 1,500 policies.
“I am shocked by this with almost 1,600 policies. That’s ridiculous, “he said.
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Donelon says he knows it’s a disappointing time. But he urges those who lose their coverage to contact their insurance agents for new insurance.
“I admit that agents are overworked in many cases. “I have agent friends,” Donelon said.
On June 30, Lighthouse Excalibur will cancel 30,000 policies and Maison will terminate 12,000 policies. Southern Fidelity will cancel 42,000 policies on July 15.
Fayard says it will be difficult to place the affected properties so quickly.
“On July 14, out of those 42,000, I promise that you will not even go through the middle of all the agents, finding places for these people,” he said.
And agents say private insurers are becoming more selective about who they accept as customers. However, Donelon insists that companies are still writing policies.
“You know, he is [Donelon] says there are some companies that are actively writing, well, yes. But you know what? Their criteria for dealing with them are so difficult because they don’t want to write this whole business. So they have to set criteria for what to accept, “Fayard said.
There is also Louisiana Citizens, the state insurer of last resort.
“Policyholders who cannot find a policy on the private market will be able to find a policy from our state insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens, but this must be done through an agent,” Donelon said.
Some policyholders simply learn that they will soon lose coverage.
Donelon says there was no way to inform them earlier given the process, which involves the courts.
“The notice came out as soon as the judge signed the liquidation order. It could not be sent before because we did not know the date on which it will be signed by then, “he said.
However, customers and many insurance agents are overwhelmed by insurance problems.
“I’ve been in this business for almost 19 years and it’s the worst I’ve seen. And I’ve never seen so many markets fall at once, “said Jennifer Clements of Dan Burghardt Insurance.
“I’ve never seen anything so bad in the history of writing insurance,” says Fayard.
St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper also commented on the canceled insurance policies.
Cooper made the following statement to the media:
“Canceled insurance policies, rising premiums, increased utility costs, inflation and fuel prices are having a huge impact on the families of St. Tammany Parish. The heat of summer and the beginning of the hurricane season do not make it better. Although insurance rates are not under my control, I will use every available opportunity as parish president to advocate for the citizens I serve.
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