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Louisiana Still Least Affordable State for Personal Auto, Homeowners Insurance

By Max Dorfman, Research Writer, Triple-I

Louisiana continues to be the least affordable state for personal auto and homeowners insurance, according to a new report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC).

The average annual expenditure for auto insurance in Louisiana was $1,495 In 2020, more than 40 percent above the national average, the report finds. These costs account for 2.93 percent of the median household income in the state, rendering it the least affordable.

Louisianans also pay significantly more for homeowners coverage compared to the national average, with an average annual expenditure of $1,965. These are among the highest rates in the country, representing 3.84 percent of the median household income in the state – 55 percent above the national average.

“The state has faced multiple major weather events, with extensive litigation following each natural disaster,” the report finds. “Rising auto-repair and construction costs, as well as the state’s relatively low household income, have compounded these issues.”

Personal auto cost drivers include:

Accident frequency: The number of property damage liability claims per 100 insured vehicles in Louisiana is 16 percent higher than the countrywide average.

Injury claim relative frequency: Louisianians show a greater propensity to file injury claims once an accident has occurred, with a relative claim frequency almost twice the national average.

Medical utilization: Louisiana auto claimants are more likely than those in other states to receive diagnostic procedures, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Attorney involvement: Louisiana claimants are more likely than those in other states to hire attorneys. Attorney involvement has been associated with higher claim costs and longer settlement times.

Claim litigation: The rate of litigation in personal auto claims in Louisiana is more than twice the national average. This rate is the second-highest in the country, surpassed only by Florida.

Homeowners cost drivers include:

Claim frequency, catastrophe claims: The number of catastrophe claims paid for every 100 homes insured for the entire year in Louisiana is almost six times higher than the national average.

Claim severity, catastrophe claims: In the hurricane-prone region, Louisianians are second only to Floridians in the amount paid for the average homeowners insurance claim. Louisiana is 12 percent higher than the national average.

Natural-hazard risk, weather: Louisiana’s exposure to building damage from weather hazards is second only to Florida’s and is dramatically higher than other states.

Claim litigation: Claims in Louisiana were 12 times more likely to involve litigation, compared with states other than Florida.

These issues have led to the insolvency of several carriers and the departure of key insurance providers from the market. Many remaining insurers have chosen to limit coverage and raise premiums.

Louisiana has tried to address these coverage gaps through incentive programs for private carriers and a greater reliance on the state-run insurer Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the last-resort insurance. However, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can be expensive, making it unaffordable for many and especially for the state’s most vulnerable residents.

These hardships have also influenced a population decline in Louisiana, as individuals and businesses are uprooting and seeking improved affordability elsewhere. Louisiana’s population declined by almost 1 percent in 2022, accounting for nearly 39,000 people, according to a new Census estimate.

Learn More:

Louisiana Litigation Funding Reform Vetoed; AOB Ban, Insurer Incentive Boost Make It Into Law

Louisiana’s Insurance Woes Worsen as Florida Works to Fix Its Problems

Louisiana Insurance Regulator Issues Cease & Desist Order to Texas Law Firm

Hurricanes Drive Louisiana Insured Losses, Insurer Insolvencies

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Triple-I Town Hall Amplified Callsto Attack Climate Risk

By Jeff Dunsavage, Senior Research Analyst, Triple-I

I’m pleased and proud to have been part of Triple-I’s Town Hall — “Attacking the Risk Crisis” — in Washington, D.C. In an intimate setting at the Mayflower Hotel on November 30, 120-plus attendees got to hear from experts representing insurance, government, academia, nonprofits, and other stakeholder groups on climate risk, what’s being done to address it, and what remains to be done.  

Triple-I’s first-ever Town Hall was designed as a logical step in its multi-disciplinary, action-oriented effort to change behavior to drive resilience. Capping a year in which headlines about “insurance crises” in several states garnered major media attention, Triple-I and its members and partners recognized the need for clarification.

“What we’re seeing is not an ‘insurance crisis’,” Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan told the standing-room-only audience. “We’re in the midst of a risk crisis. Rising insurance premium rates and availability difficulties are not the cause but a symptom of this crisis.”

Whisker Labs CEO Bob Marshall discusses innovation with moderator Jennifer Kyung, Vice President and Chief Underwriter at USAA.

While the insurance industry has a critical role to play and is uniquely well equipped to lead the attack, simply transferring risk is not enough. A recurring theme at the Town Hall was the need to shift from a focus on assessing and repairing damage to one of predicting and preventing losses.

Three moderated discussions – examining the nature of climate risk and its costs; highlighting the need of strategic innovation in mitigating those risks and building resilience; and exploring the role and impact of government policy – gave panelists the opportunity to share their insights with a diverse audience focused on collaborative action.

The agenda was:

Climate Risk Is Spiraling: What Can Be Done?

Moderator: David Wessel, Senior Fellow and Director at the Brookings Institution and former Economics Editor for The Wall Street Journal.

Panelists:

Dr. Philip Klotzbach, Colorado State University, researcher and Triple-I non-resident scholar.

Dan Kaniewski, Managing Director, Public Sector at Marsh McLennan, Former FEMA Deputy Administrator.

Jacqueline Higgins, Head, North America & Senior Vice President, Public Sector Solutions, Swiss Re

Jim Boccher, Chief Development Officer, ServiceMaster.

Jeff Huebner, Chief Risk Officer, CSAA.

Innovation, High- and Low-Tech: How Insurers Are Driving Solutions

Moderator: Jennifer Kyung, VP, Chief Underwriter, USAA.

Panelists:

Partha Srinivasa, EVP, CIO, Erie Insurance.

Sam Krishnamurthy, CTO, Digital Solutions, Crawford.

Bob Marshall, CEO, Whisker Labs.

Stephen DiCenso, Principal,Milliman.

Charlie Sidoti, Executive Director, InnSure.

Outdated Regs to Legal System Abuse: It Will Take Villages to Fix This

Moderator: Zach Warmbrodt, financial services editor, Politico.

Panelists:

Parr Schoolman, SVP and Chief Risk Officer, Allstate.

Tim Judge, SVP, Head Modeler, Chief Climate Officer, Fannie Mae.

Dan Coates, Deputy Director, DRS, Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Fred Karlinsky, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Insurance Regulatory & Transactions Practice Group.

Panelists and participants alike appreciated the compact, action-focused, conversational nature of the single-afternoon event, as well as the opportunity to discuss areas in which their diverse industry- or sector-specific priorities and efforts overlapped.

If you weren’t able to join us in Washington, don’t worry. In his closing remarks, Kevelighan announced plans to take the program on the road with a local and regional focus, so stay tuned. You can contact us if you’re interested in participating in future Town Halls or other Triple-I events. You also can join the “Attacking the Risk Crisis” LinkedIn Group to be part of the ongoing conversation.