Jefferson Parish Celebrates Homeowners Insurance Progress

AVONDALE, La. — Jerry Bologna, president and CEO of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), is celebrating a bit of good news related to the homeowners insurance market on his home turf.

In 2023, JEDCO received a modest budget from Jefferson Parish to develop an action plan to help improve insurance options for parish residents, and new data from the Louisiana Department of Insurance indicates that the parish is on the right track.

Bologna said that an LDI report shows that nearly 18% of the new policies written and more than 23% of the new premiums written by insurers who have recently re-entered the Louisiana market were for Jefferson Parish customers. 

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Danielle Dauzat of Accessible Insurance Agency said that Allied Trust, Gulf States, and Sure are the top three writing carriers in the parish.

The Insure Louisiana Incentive Program, enacted in 2022 by the Louisiana Legislature, provides grant funds to insurers to encourage them to write policies for Louisiana residents. Many companies left the state, or went out of business altogether, after a series of storms in 2021 and 2022 — including Laura, Delta and Zeta and Ida — reportedly cost insurers more than $20 billion (according to the Insurance information institute.)

One of the major goals of the bill was to reduce the number of insurance policies being provided by Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state’s insurer of last resort. That’s because, in 2022, the number of policies on Citizens had swelled to more than 150,000 compared to less than 50,000 in 2021. And the average cost of a policy had increased to $4,520 per year.

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“We knew one metric of success would be the number of policies that were taken off the Louisiana Citizens rolls by new insurers taking advantage of the Insure Louisiana Incentive Plan,” said Bologna. “I’m happy to say that the LDI’s new report shows that Jefferson has been the state’s biggest beneficiary of the program.

“We still have significant work to do especially during the legislative session, but the parish’s efforts, including new zoning requirements and a campaign to educate consumers about the importance of wind mitigation surveys, are helping create a healthier market.”

JEDCO’s plan cites several actions in the parish — including the 2023 implementation of re-roof permits as well as ongoing floodplain management work and tree protection efforts — as contributors to success. It also cites statewide tort reform, changes to the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 and streamlining efforts at the LDI as future priorities.

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This article has been corrected to list the top three insurers writing policies in Jefferson Parish.

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