Louisiana governor looks to London for answers to insurance crisis
Courier, The (Houma, LA)
Gov. John Bel Edwards is traveling to London Wednesday, where one of his meetings will be with executives from the premier global insurance market Loyd's to discuss Louisiana's growing homeowner's insurance crisis.
Edwards will lead a delegation of business and political leaders who will also seek economic expansion opportunities as well as attend the New Orleans Saints game against the Minnesota Vikings in London on Sunday.
Louisiana is in the midst of an insurance crisis triggered by Hurricanes Laura and Ida in consecutive years that threatens the affordability of homeownership in the state's coastal areas, where the cost of property insurance and federal flood insurance can exceed monthly mortgage payments.
Among the planned topics of discussion with Loyd's executives Thursday: current factors affecting insurance and reinsurance protection for companies doing business in Louisiana; legislative and regulatory changes that would improve the state's attractiveness to insurers and reinsurers; and how the risk modeling utilized in Lloyd's insurance marketplace impacts the state.
"Few states are more directly impacted by the insurance underwriting and energy markets than Louisiana, which is why it's so important to maintain an open dialogue with global leaders in those sectors," Edwards said in a statement. "Thousands of Louisianans are not only still recovering from damage caused by devastating storms, but they are also dealing with unpaid claims, insurance companies folding, and problems finding new insurance coverage.
"We must find a way to solve this crisis. I'm also looking forward to establishing new partnerships and increasing awareness about Louisiana's energy transition leadership and rapidly diversifying economy."
Edwards, who will return to Louisiana Monday, will be joined on the trip by representatives from Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, the Port of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.
On Friday the governor and delegation will meet with private energy industry executive from Shell, Cheniere, Linde and Drax.
This is Edwards' third international trip of his second term and sixth of his governorship. His most recent trip was a weeklong resiliency and economic development mission to the Netherlands and France.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.