As Louisiana Insurance Rates Rise, A Key Statewide Race Heats Up
Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon hasn't announced if he is running for re-election in 2023, but if he does, he'll be facing a familiar opponent.
Tim Temple, who spent $2 million of his own money in 2019 and got nearly 47 percent of the vote, announced Monday that he would be running for the job again in 2023. He was Donelon's only opponent in 2019.
Citing rising insurance rates across the state, including a 63 percent homeowner's insurance rate increase Donelon himself signed, Temple cites the need for new leadership in the office.
"Over the last 17 years," Temple said in his announcement, "Louisiana auto rates have soared to the most expensive in the country, while recently we’ve seen an explosion of homeowner rate increases and an expansion of attorneys promising quick claim settlements and loosely regulated public adjusters."
"Just last week, the current commissioner approved a 63% homeowner’s insurance rate increase," Temple added. “Continuing to recycle old plans ignores the actual problems and shortcomings altogether, and these issues are too serious to ignore. More than ever Louisiana needs an insurance commissioner with experience in the insurance industry, that will be honest, transparent, accountable, and put the people of this state ahead of insurance companies."
As Greg Hillburn notes with the USA Today Network, Donelon did sign the rate increase, but he didn't have much of a choice in the matter.
By law, Citizens' prices must be 10% above the highest market rate in each parish or the actuarial rate, whichever is higher. Citizens provides insurance to homeowners who can't secure protection in the private market.
During the 2023 campaign, Temple said that Donelon was "asleep at the wheel" on state insurance issues.
Donelon first assumed the role of Insurance Commissioner in February of 2006. Prior to that, he served as deputy commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Insurance by then-Insurance Commissioner J. Robert Wooley.