Louisiana Citizens Board OKs Proposed Rate Hike For 2010

September 14, 2009

Policyholders of Louisiana’s state-backed property insurance company will see an average statewide rate increase of about 10 percent next year, under a proposal preliminarily approved by the firm’s board on Sept. 10.

The Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board forwarded two separate rate hike proposals to the Department of Insurance for its review. One proposal, a 10 percent increase, is based partly on financial data that have not yet been audited; the other, for 9.8 percent, takes three years of audited data into account.

If given final approval, either proposal would lead to an average statewide increase of about $180 for the typical Citizens customer’s $1,800 policy. However, the increase figures are statewide – meaning some policyholders will see increased rates and others will get decreased rates when the change takes effect next year.

The proposed increases go to the Department of Insurance, which can approve or reject any Citizens rate change proposal.

Final approval of a rate hike depends partly on an ongoing audit of Citizens’ books by Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot, who has said that work should be done by November.

The Citizens board’s approval of the two rate hike proposals came after chief executive John Wortman recommended they submit both, rather than wait until Theriot’s audit is complete.

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