Following Hurricane Ida, Another Insurer Goes Belly-Up In Louisiana
Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA)
Jan. 21—Another insurer has gone belly-up in Hurricane Ida's aftermath.
Louisiana's Department of Insurance took over Americas Insurance Company in a court-ordered receivership last week, making it the third financially-troubled insurer to require rescue in recent months.
The New Orleans based insurer has approximately 24,000 policies and 13,000 Ida-related claims. It controlled 1.31% of the Louisiana's homeowners insurance market and has been licensed to operate in the state since 1991.
The Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Fund, a state-sponsored safety net also known as LIGA, promises up to $500,000 in payments for unpaid claims and $10,000 for premium refunds for policyholder's whose insurers go insolvent.
"My number one priority is protecting Louisiana policyholders, and my decision to place this company into receivership will help do that," Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said in a statement. "LIGA can pay up to $500,000 per claim, and they're ready to handle what's coming."
A court-appointed receiver is now in charge of operating the company. Americas is in rehabilitation, a form of receivership aimed at solving problems at the company. Policyholders will be contacted by the court-appointed receiver or their insurance agent about claims and whether in-force policies will be transferred to another insurer.
Until recently, Americas was domiciled in Washington, D.C., but with most of its policies in Louisiana, Donelon worked with his counterpart in the nation's capitol to move the company back to the Bayou State.
In November, Donelon took over two other insolvent insurers — Access Home Insurance Co. and State National Fire Insurance Co. — and negotiated a deal to transfer those policies to another insurer.
Policyholders with questions about their insurance coverage or the status of their policies should contact their insurer or insurance agent. Policyholders with questions about claims should contact LIGA at 225-277-7151 or www.laiga.org. Policyholders may also contact LDI at 800-259-5300 or www.ldi.la.gov for assistance.
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