Increasingly high insurance premiums leaving some homeowners uninsured

JEAN LAFITTE, La. (WGNO) – Sixty-five percent of the nearly 500,000 Hurricane Ida-related homeowners’ claims were closed with payment, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, but some homeowners now have a new hurdle.

Following Ida, which took a toll on the Town of Jean Lafitte, several insurance companies that were responsible for writing policies in Louisiana have failed.

“Well, our insurance company, Geovera, canceled us, and in shopping around for insurance, it’s at least $8,000 or more,” explained Jean Lafitte homeowner Debby Berthelot.

The cancellations are leaving some homeowners uninsured during hurricane season.

Gerard & Debby Berthelot, homeowners in Town of Jean Lafitte

“I’m scared to death,” said Debby. “I’m scared to death.” Debby’s husband Gerard Berthelot interjected, “The premiums have gone up so much that you have to try to self-insure and get a basic plan to back us up.”

The skyrocketing insurance premiums are driving some people out of town.

“We hope to get through this year, and we’re searching, actually, almost every day for a house maybe on the North Shore,” said Debby.

Some homeowners believe Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon owes Louisianians answers.

“I don’t feel that he is supporting the people of Louisiana,” said Debby. “It’s all the insurance companies, the poor insurance companies. And I just feel every year he keeps defending the insurance companies and all their claims. But it’s not just the state of Louisiana that these insurance companies are collecting money from; it’s a nationwide insurance company.”

According to Donelon, if the cost of your repair has increased since you received the initial payment, you have the right to file a supplemental claim.

“I encourage any policyholder having problems getting their insurer to pay a claim to call us at 800-259-5300 and file a complaint,” said Donelon.

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