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MONTHLY REPORT
Volume 13, Issue 7
July 2013


Members

Commissioner Jim Donelon
Theodore "Ted" Haik, Jr., Chair
Jeff Albright, Vice Chair

Ray Aleman, Jr.
Lee Ann Alexander
J.E. Brignac, Jr.
Paul Buffone
Stephen F. Campbell
Anne Cassity
Sheriff Greg Champagne
Representative Greg Cromer

Manuel DePascual (Alternate)
Louis G. Fey, Jr.
Michael Guy
Lance "Wes" Hataway
Ron Henderson
Senator Eric LaFleur
Scott Landry
LTC John A. LeBlanc
Ann Metrailer (Alternate)
Robert Moorman
Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish
Representative Kirk Talbot
Earl Taylor


Staff


Terrell B. Moss, Director

David Evans,
Supervisor/Research Analyst

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Louisiana Citizens Has New CEO

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon recently named David Thomas as the new Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), the state’s insurer of last resort for property insurance. Mr. Thomas has worked in the insurance industry for nearly 40 years and has experience in the positions of CEO, Chief Financial Officer, and President of insurance groups and across a variety of disciplines including finance, operations, customer service, and information technology for companies ranging from start-ups to established organizations.

“Dave had all of the qualifications we were looking for in the CEO of Citizens,” said Commissioner Donelon. “His varied executive experience will prove to be a real asset and he has a proven track record of developing a strategic vision and executing it successfully which will serve Citizens well.”

Mr. Thomas replaces Richard Robertson who served as Citizens CEO from July 2010 until his retirement June 1. “Dick has been a strong leader for Citizens and his stewardship and professionalism have really been held in high regard both here in Louisiana and nationally,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Dick leaves Citizens in a more stable position than it was when he arrived and I thank him for all of his contributions.”


LaCASU Survey of College Student Alcohol and Drug Use

As has been the practice for many years, a member of the LPCIC staff attends the monthly meetings of the Southeast Louisiana DWI Task Force. At this month’s meeting Bret Blackmon, Associate Director of the Louisiana Center Addressing Substance Use in Collegiate Communities (LaCASU), presented a preview of the results of its 2013 survey of Louisiana college students on their alcohol and drug use.

LaCASU has conducted this survey – using the nationally recognized Core survey form – every two years since 2007 to better determine students’ substance usage and perceptions at the state’s technical, 2-year, and 4-year colleges. The resulting data is intended to aid the participating colleges in identifying alcohol and drug issues within their student body, to develop outreach to address those issues, and to enlist the collaboration of the larger surrounding community, as well. Since the survey is conducted on a standardized form, the results can also be compared at the national, state and regional levels to determine trends and progress.

It should be noted that the student survey participants remain anonymous and the majority are under the legal drinking age of 21.

The 2013 survey results for Louisiana generally compare favorably to the national averages; however, Mr. Blackmon noted that the disparity between north and south Louisiana usage moderates our state’s overall average. The table below displays the percentages based on student responses regarding some of the survey data Mr. Blackmon presented:

ITEM

U.S.
2010

LA
2013

LA Highest

LA Lowest

Current Drinkers (Student consumed alcohol within last 30 days)

69.0

64.6

N.O. area – 69.5
B.R. area – 68.2

Shrev. area – 60.1
Monroe area – 61.7

Binge Drinkers (Student consumed 5+ drinks at 1 sitting in last 2 weeks)

44.8

36.0

N.O. area – 39.4
B.R. area – 37.5

Shrev. area – 31.7
Florida parishes – 34.2

Student drove vehicle while under the influence

24.1

25.9

N.O. area – 28.1
B.R. area – 27.9

Florida parishes – 20.0
Monroe area – 23.5

Student has been arrested for DWI/DUI

1.3

1.2

Acadiana area – 2.3
Monroe area – 1.5

Florida parishes – 0.5
Shrev. area – 0.8

LaCASU will make a formal presentation of the 2013 Louisiana survey results next month. LaCASU is housed at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge within the Office of Academic Affairs’ office of Equity, Diversity, and Community Outreach. Funding for LaCASU is provided through the Office for Behavioral Health at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

Lightning Strike Claims - LA High On Hit List

Summertime weather in Louisiana is fairly predictable: heat punctuated by afternoon thunderstorms, especially in the southern part of the state. And with those thunderstorms comes lightning. According to data compiled by the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for lightning incidents with Louisiana ranking 2nd (behind Florida) in the average number of lightning flashes per square mile per year, and 6th in the total number of lightning deaths over the last 50 odd years.

Therefore, it is not shocking that a recent analysis of homeowner insurance claims by the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm ranks Louisiana high in the number and total payout for lightning related claims. As a nation, lightning claims in 2012 numbered 151,000, totaled nearly a billion dollars ($969,000,000), and averaged $6,400. These 2012 figures represent a 19 percent decline in paid claims, a 1.7 percent increase in total payments, and a 25.2 percent increase in the average cost per claim over the 2011 figures. The 2012 figures when compared with 2004 indicate a 45.7 percent decline in claims, a 31.7 percent increase in total payments, and a 141.9 percent increase in the average claim payment.

Loretta Worters, vice president of III, attributed the decline in the number of claims to increased use of lightning protection systems and the increase in the average cost per claim, “in part because of the huge increase in the number and value of consumer electronics in homes.” Homeowner insurance covers damage from fire and may cover damage from power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike.

Based on their analysis, III and State Farm created the following table, “Top 10 States for Homeowners Insurance Claims and Payout for Lightning Losses, 2012”:

Rank

State

Number of paid claims

Insured losses
($ millions)

Average cost per claim

1

Georgia

13,000

$73.2

$5,600

2

North Carolina

8,500

46.0

5,400

3

Pennsylvania

7,300

28.0

3,800

4

Louisiana

6,700

33.6

4,500

5

Texas

6,500

65.3

6,700

6

Tennessee

6,000

47.3

7,800

7

Alabama

5,700

37.9

9,700

8

Ohio

5,500

24.0

4,400

9

South Carolina

5,300

31.7

6,000

10

Illinois

4,400

30.4

6,800

Sources:  National Fire Protection Association, “Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes,” Ahrens, June 2013; and Insurance Information Institute

NOTICE: The Louisiana Property and Casualty Insurance Commission plans to meet Tuesday, August 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the Department of Insurance, Plaza Hearing Room

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