Released: August 11, 2006
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon says nearly all of Louisiana's homeowners
insurance companies, including State Farm and Allstate, have complied with his order
to extend the prescriptive period for policyholders to file a lawsuit as result
of a hurricane-related insurance claim.
Among the state's largest homeowners insurers agreeing to an extension of the prescriptive
period are: State Farm: 31.9% of the Louisiana homeowners market; Allstate: 20.2%;
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation: 7.6%; Louisiana Farm Bureau Group:
6.9%; Zurich Group, which includes Farmers Insurance Exchange and Foremost: 4.1%;
Liberty Mutual Group: 3.6%; St. Paul Travelers Group: 3.2%; USAA Group: 3.1%; ANPAC:
2.0%; Allmerica Group, which includes Hanover and Massachusetts Bay: 1.9%; AIG Group:
1.6%; Metropolitan Group: 1.5%; Allianz Group, which includes Firemans Fund: 1.4%;
Chubb: 1.2%; Unitrin Group: 0.9%; Hartford Group: 0.9%; Horace Mann: 0.9%; Safeco:
0.6%; Assurant Solutions Group, which includes American Bankers of Florida and Voyager:
0.5%; National Security Group: 0.3% and Homesite Group: 0.2%.
Insurers have until close of business today to meet the deadline imposed by Commissioner
Donelon to file a stipulation with the Department of Insurance agreeing to extend
the lawsuit period. "Given the unprecedented number of insurance claims filed
following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, one year has not been enough time for many
policyholders and insurance companies to work out a final settlement," said
Donelon. The year-anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is August 29 and Hurricane Rita
is September 24.
Commissioner Donelon urges policyholders with an outstanding hurricane claim to
check the Department's Web site for a complete list of homeowners insurers agreeing
to extend the prescriptive deadline.
The time period for extensions varies by company. Most insurers have agreed to the
extra year. Some will extend the prescriptive period to two years but are reserving
the limited right to give the Department 30 or 60-days written notice to rescind
the stipulation, but only if a court determines that Act 802 of the 2006 Regular
Session is unconstitutional. Commissioner Donelon notes that until there is a final
court decision, all hurricane claimants whose companies have filed a stipulation
are now fully protected because of his directive.