BATON ROUGE, L.a. — Two bills known as the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program are on the way to the governor's desk for his signature.
The bills were passed by lawmakers in this week's special session to address insurance concerns with the goal of bringing more property insurers back to the state. The special session ended Friday ahead of its 6 pm Sunday deadline.
Here in Acadiana, some questions and concerns are being expressed by locals about the $45 million incentive program. The majority of people KATC spoke with on Friday said they lack faith in the program, more precisely when it comes down to what's coming out of their pockets.
"When are we gonna get a price break? When is it gonna go back down?" said Cecilia resident Geraldine Leger, who's owned her home for 19 years and has had issues claiming insurance post-hurricane herself. "Is it ever gonna go back down?
Marcella Manuel lives just south of I-10 between Indian Bayou and Maurice. She told KATC this is the most she's paid for insurance in years.
"With the insurance rates being what they are right now on my home and on my auto, it's costing me more to pay my insurance than my mortgage note," she said. "If they can get insurance companies in here, they may reduce the rates a little, at least we can keep our economy going maybe and houses will sell, but there's a lot of places right now where people don't want to buy houses anymore because they can't afford the insurance."
Places like Vermilion Parish where she calls home — and places where Manuel believes something has to change.
Bring in the lawmakers at the State Capitol. According to State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, several new insurers already expressed interest in entering the state's market before the special session if this funding were to go through. As for Acadiana's lawmakers, they told KATC they hope people understand this is simply the first step for what they believe is a greater solution for the future.
"This is a first step because if we can entice more insurance companies to enter the marketplace, I think the ripple effect can be beneficial," Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican representing District 22 said. "But it's just a one-prong effect that will take many layers of complexity to solve. I think we're like anybody else, no one likes to pay more in insurance but it's hopefully a right step forward."
For more information on the Insure Louisiana Incentive program and the first special session of the 2023 calendar year, click here.
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