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Some say property insurance in Vermillion Parish is too high

The Vermilion Parish School Board is having trouble finding insurance companies to protect the building.
Posted at 10:12 PM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 23:12:26-04

Some homeowners and members of the Vermilion Parish School Board are raising concerns about property insurance.

Mary Wadlington said she has been a homeowner in Abbeville for nearly two decades, but now, she's living without it.

"I say it's way too high for us, especially like a widow, even a family," Wadlington said. "They don't have no jobs and stuff, it is hard for us to pay for it...I had Surge, now I don't have none at all because I cannot afford it."

Wadlington is not the only person in Vermilion Parish having this problem. Tommy Byler, Superintendent of the Vermilion Parish School Board said the board is trying to find the best quotes for a group of brokers that are willing to protect the board's building.

"We had 52-million dollars worth of damage in our school system from Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta," Byler said. "A lot of people didn't realize when you see the devastation that happened in Calcasieu Parish and then you turn around a year later and you have devastation of Hurricane Ida in Lafourche Parish and St. Charles Parish."

Byler said the entire coast is still recovering from storm damage, so insurance premiums and deductibles have increased.

"Arthur Gallagher is our broker," Byler said. "They've been our broker. We were able to get all of our fleet insurance, our casualty insurance, all of our other insurances are done. They are all kind of coming together in a lump sum, but the property insurance, we still didn't have something that they were comfortable presenting to us."

According to the Superintendent, if proposals from new insurance companies aren't solidified by March 30, the board will have to request an extension.