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LA Insurance Commish Says Companies Should Pay Evacuation Claims

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Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

ISSUES INSURANCE MANDATE -  Louisiana Insurance Commissioner  Jim Donelon  has ordered insurance providers to pay for up to two weeks of hotel rooms and meals for residents who fled the region because of Hurricane Ida even if they weren't in mandatory evacuation zones. The  Insurance companies could face fines or be suspended from doing business for refusing to comply with the Insurance Commissioner’s  order.   Donelon was the featured guest at the Baton Rouge Press Club luncheon Monday, he said some companies had volunteered to pay evacuation claims except for the largest homeowner’s insurance  provider in the state.

"When I got on a call with State Farm and to my absolute shock I was told by them that they were not going to accommodate that request," Donelon explained.

"When I got on a call with State Farm and to my absolute shock I was told by them that they were not going to accommodate that request," Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon
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Credit Courtesy: Baton Rouge Press Club
Jim Donelon, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner

Hurricane Ida was a destructive Category 4 hurricane that became the second-most powerful  hurricane to strike Louisiana, behind Hurricane Katrina.   Ida made landfall on August 26th.   Many insurance companies will cover short-term evacuation-related  expenses  if jurisdictions  issue  mandatory evacuation  orders but many Parishes failed to do so.   Donelon  urged insurance  companies to voluntarily waive that provision after learning some companies were planning to do so and would meet his request, but State Farm did not,  prompting Donelon  to turn his request into a mandate. State Farm now plans to challenge that mandate in court.