June 10, 2021

 Insurance Commissioner Thanks Sen. Mark Abraham for Protecting LDI’s Ability to Issue Emergency Rules During Catastrophic Events and Thanks Sen. Ronnie Johns for Securing Funds to Investigate Insurer Handling of Hurricane Claims

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon extends his thanks to Sen. Mark Abraham (R-Lake Charles) for assisting in the effort to secure the Commissioner’s authority to issue emergency rules in response to catastrophes. Commissioner Donelon also recognizes Sen. Ronnie Johns (R-Lake Charles) for securing $600,000 to investigate five homeowners insurance companies over concerns that they mishandled claims after hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.

“During a legislative session packed with important discussions about taxes, budgets, Covid-19 responses and more, I am extremely grateful to Senators Abraham and Johns for their assistance with two bills which will provide significant help to Louisiana insurance consumers as finally passed,” said Commissioner Donelon.

Sen. Abraham sponsored SB29, which streamlined the existing authority of the Insurance Commissioner when the Governor declares an emergency. The change enables the Commissioner of Insurance to react quickly to emergency situations and safeguard the rights of policyholders during catastrophes, such as when two hurricanes hit the Lake Charles area and when the Covid-19 pandemic struck our state in 2020. Commissioner Donelon worked closely with Gov. John Bel Edwards to implement necessary protections for consumers during the onset of last year’s pandemic and historic hurricanes, as he had done during previous disasters with Govs. Blanco and Jindal. These emergency steps were twice challenged in court and SB29 now secures the Commissioner’s authority to protect consumers during future catastrophic events. This legislation allows the Insurance Commissioner to issue emergency rules independently, limited to the duration and geographic area of the Governor’s declaration. This authority expires when the Governor’s emergency declaration expires, and all such emergency rules will remain subject to oversight by the Legislature as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act.

Sen. Johns sponsored Amendment No. 32 to HB1, the annual state budget bill, to appropriate funds to perform market conduct examinations on five insurers that received a higher share of complaints after the 2020 storms relative to their shares of the homeowners insurance market.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance has received more than 1,500 complaints related to the 2020 hurricanes. When the department receives complaints, LDI’s Office of Consumer Services investigates the situations on behalf of consumers and contacts companies to get answers. LDI also monitors complaints for patterns of potential misconduct and launches market conduct examinations when necessary to take a deeper look at a company’s operations to determine the root cause of problems that harm policyholders.

The results of market conduct examinations can trigger regulatory action in the form of fines or other punitive measures if the examinations reveal that improper activity has occurred.

For more information on the 2021 Regular Legislative Session, please visit

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting