May 15, 2024 - News

Homeowner's insurance policy terms tighten as Louisiana loosens regulations

Illustration of a house with a hurricane symbol shadow looming over it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Homeowners insurance companies are tightening policy terms for weather-related losses nationally, according to a new report from Moody's.

Why it matters: Forecasters expect the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season to be particularly active.

The big picture: Insurers are pulling back on writing new policies in disaster-prone areas, raising rates and dropping under-performing business "to boost profitability," Moody's says.

  • That leaves state-backed insurers of last resort to fill the gaps. Some homeowners are opting not to have any insurance at all, Moody's reports.

To mitigate risk, Moody's suggests, "governments could invest in infrastructure improvements and implement stricter building codes and land use policies."

Zoom in: In Louisiana, Gov. Jeff Landry signed new, industry-friendly legislation last week making it easier for insurers to cancel policies, raise rates and face lighter penalties for unpaid claims, the Illuminator reports.

  • Insurance commissioner Tim Temple has said removing the three-year rule made Louisiana less attractive to insurance companies for doing business here.
  • Louisiana has 843,000 homes and $202 billion at risk of being hit by a Category 5 hurricane, according to numbers quoted in Moody's.

Go deeper: All eyes are on insurers of last resort.

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