Louisiana Property Owners Urged to Claim Citizens Assessment Rebate

February 21, 2013

Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (Citizens) rebates that are available to policyholders are unclaimed, according to state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.

Donelon and Department of Revenue (LDR) Director of Customer Service Kent LaPlace are urging property owners aware claim their rebate.

“Property owners – whether they are a Citizens policyholder or have insurance through another company – can submit their Citizens rebate claim for assessments paid in 2009 through 2012. Tax time is certainly a good time to claim the rebate,” said Commissioner Donelon. “As of the end of last year, more than $255 million or 65 percent of those funds were not claimed.”

The Citizens assessment is payment for bonds issued by the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to cover the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina in excess of their available reinsurance.

The assessment was passed on to property and casualty policyholders by insurance companies. The full amount of the assessment is refundable to consumers once they have paid their annual insurance bill.

Donelon noted that the allotted time to claim funds for 2006 through 2008 has expired and nearly $194 million or more than 53 percent of those funds went unclaimed. Donelon urged policyholders to check the declaration page of their property insurance policy to find the Citizens assessment amount they paid. The option to claim the 2009 assessment will expire after Dec. 31, 2013.

Businesses may claim the Citizens rebate by filing the Department of Revenue Form R-620INS or by filing a current-year or amended tax return. A copy of the insurance policy declaration page showing proof of the assessment amount must be attached to any claim form. Individual policyholders may also claim the rebate by amending a prior-year tax return.

Citizens Assessments Unclaimed as of Dec. 31, 2012

Year Assessment Amount Collected Dollar Amount Claimed with LDR Dollar Amount Left Unclaimed Percent Dollar Amount Unclaimed Eligible to be claimed
2006 $193,440,581 $61,335,283 $132,105,298 68.29% No
2007 $70,164,783 $60,414,663 $9,750,120 13.89% No
2008 $100,234,934 $48,097,616 $52,137,318 52.01% No
2009 $107,955,784 $51,468,085 $56,487,699 52.32% Yes
2010 $102,472,710 $45,160,349 $57,312,361 55.93% Yes
2011 $91,171,891 $38,807,432 $52,364,459 57.43% Yes
2012 $89,786,677 $581,067 $89,205,610 99.35% Yes
Total $755,227,360 $305,864,495.00 $449,362,865 59.50%

Donelon is embarking on a statewide public awareness campaign during February and March to discuss the Citizens rebate, as well as residential property storm mitigation incentives. There are state tax deduction and insurance premium discounts available to homeowners who strengthen their homes against storms and hurricanes.

“Property owners may be eligible for a state tax deduction for voluntarily retrofitting their home, and insurance premium discounts for voluntarily building or retrofitting their home to comply with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code, which will make their home more hurricane resistant,” said Donelon. This includes, but is not limited to, such building applications as roof deck attachment, roof bracing, roof covering, roof-to-wall connections, secondary water barrier, and opening protection.

For more information on the Citizens assessment rebate, visit the Department of Insurance website at www.ldi.la.gov. Click on the Citizens Insurance Rebate link on the home page to access the necessary forms and for more information on the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code state tax deduction and insurance premium discounts.

Citizens assessment rebate forms can also be found on the Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/citizens.

Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance

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