Officials demand Citizens premium increase review
St. Mary Parish President Paul Naquin, Sen. Brett Allain and Rep. Joe Harrison went to Baton Rouge last week to protest a 171 percent increase in wind and hail premiums from Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance.
Naquin told the Franklin City Council Tuesday that Rep. Sam Jones was unable to attend due to a legislative committee meeting but he has been proactive in protesting the increase as well.
Increases in neighboring parish are 37 percent in St. Martin Parish, 52 percent in Terrebonne, 47 percent in Lafourche and 68 percent in Iberia.
Naquin and the two legislators attended a meeting of the Citizens board.
“The only thing separating us is the name of the parish,” he said. “Nothing is different between any one of the other parishes.”
He said Harrison and Allain were “really upset” when they spoke to the board.
Naquin asked the board how they “came up with the 171 percent. The CAO there could not answer that. He said he ‘guessed’ they did it by fair market price. There’s no fair market price, because they’re the only ones that furnish this insurance. We went on and on, and they agreed to determine how they found the 171 percent increase in St. Mary Parish, in the next two or three weeks.”
Naquin warned that policy increases will begin June 1, and policyholders will see the increase. But if the increase is rescinded, policyholders would be refunded.
Only the legislature has the power to overturn the premium increase, Naquin said.
The city council passed a resolution asking the Citizens board to reconsider the increase.
Naquin noted that Rapides Parish was handed down an increase of 342 percent, and has no Citizens clients.
“How do they come up with that kind of premium?” he asked.