Covering Louisiana

Oct 20, 2013 1:07 PM by katc

Legislature plans flood insurance meeting

The Legislature's insurance committees have scheduled a Wednesday meeting to discuss what can be done to help residents facing skyrocketing flood insurance increases.

Changes in the National Flood Insurance Program to put it on sounder financial footing could mean rate increases of up to 4,000 percent on some Louisiana homes and businesses. An estimated 18,000 Louisiana policies will see immediate impact.

The Advocate reported Louisiana has nearly 500,000 flood insurance policies.

"With so many changes and rate increases impacting not only our coastal residents, but our entire state, and with no definite fix at this time in D.C., it is time that we discuss what can be done on a state and local level," Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Dan "Blade" Morrish said.

"I don't know that we have any fix but people may come up with ideas that are worthy of discussion," said Morrish, R-Jennings.

Morrish said the hearing also will provide an opportunity for education about the flood insurance situation.

"There's a lot of misinformation, uncertainty about how it's going to be implemented ... as well as information from the federal delegation about what they think they can do and what they cannot do," he said.

Congressional fixes - pushed by the state's delegation - that would delay insurance rate increases for a year are under consideration but the federal government shutdown has impeded any progress. Rate increases for some properties began being phased in on Oct. 1.

The Senate and House Insurance Committees will meet at 9:30 a.m.in House Committee Room 5 at the State Capitol.

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