Released: July 23, 2007
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon said consumers who paid extra fees on their
property insurance bill to help fund a shortfall in the state's high risk property
insurance pool are still entitled to recoup those assessments.
Last year the Legislature appropriated $239 million to refund Louisiana Citizens
Property Insurance Corporation assessments being paid by most property insurance
policyholders in Louisiana. But recent published reports indicate most property
owners filing a 2006 state tax return did not seek reimbursement for the Citizens
assessments they paid.
Property policyholders who already filed their 2006 state tax return can still submit
an amended tax form, along with the declarations page of their policy, to recoup
the full amount paid in Citizens assessments. The Citizens surcharges can be listed
as Regular and Emergency Assessments for the FAIR Plan and Coastal Plan, both of
which are Citizens insurance pools. "We encourage everyone who has been charged
the Citizens assessments and who has not yet obtained a refund from the Department
"said Commissioner Donelon.
Without the assessments, Citizens could not afford to pay all of its Hurricane Katrina damage claims, which totaled about $1 billion. No Hurricane Rita assessments were necessary because Citizens was able to pay all of its Rita claims with cash on hand.
Commissioner Donelon said regular assessment fees started showing up on insurance
policies in late 2005, with emergency assessment fees appearing in late 2006.
Governor Blanco also recently signed into law legislation that allows policyholders
a much more immediate option to recoup Citizens assessments charged after January
1, 2007. Under the new law, rebates may be obtained as soon as they are paid by
filing form R540 INS with the Department of Revenue.
"It's designed to give relief to policyholders as soon as possible so they don't
have to wait until tax time for reimbursement," said Commissioner Donelon of the