November 9, 2020

  2020 Storm Losses at Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Limited to $35 Million

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is pleased to announce that Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (Citizens), the state’s insurer of last resort, will take only a $35 million financial hit from the 2020 hurricane season because of its reinsurance program.

In this record storm season, Citizens has received 6,341 claims from Cristobal, Laura, Sally, Delta and Zeta totaling $75.7 million through November 5, 2020. Citizens estimates that it will ultimately receive 10,278 claims with losses totaling $128.6 million for the 2020 storm season. Damage claims from Hurricane Laura alone will reach $65 million.

But Citizens will only have to pay for $35 million of those claims because reinsurance, or insurance for insurance companies, will cover the rest. Citizens won’t have to absorb the costs of any claims from Delta and Zeta even as it compensates policyholders for their damage.

“I commend Citizens for its smart financial management,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “Citizens’ efforts are paying off for the people of Louisiana, who won’t face any special assessments from this record hurricane season.”

The situation is a far cry from after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, when Citizens was plagued by complaints about its claims handling and couldn’t afford to pay its bills. The situation resulted in a $150 million assessment on all Louisiana insurance policies followed by a $900 million bond issue that will continue to cause assessments on all property insurance policies through 2026.

Citizens, which sells property insurance to people and businesses in Louisiana who can’t get coverage in the private market, now has six layers of reinsurance to manage its risk. It met its $35 million deductible during Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm that devastated Lake Charles in August.

Citizens has enough reinsurance and catastrophe bonds to be able to afford a 1 in 300-year event. Five years ago, it only had coverage for a 1 in 100-year event, and that came with a $50 million deductible.

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