NEW ORLEANS -- The Allstate Insurance Group, the second largest writer of homeowners' policies in Louisiana, just announced hefty increases for its 144,000 customers in the state.
The rate hike for Allstate is an average of 11.3 percent. The hike for Allstate Indemnity is 5.4 percent.
When the higher rates kick in, Allstate customers will be paying 27 percent more than they did in 2009. The increase for Allstate Indemnity is 11 percent over the same period of time.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said the rate hikes are consistent with other insurance companies in the state over the past three years.
'Our average statewide for all homeowners is four and a half percent for each of the last three years,' said Donelon.
Marc Eagan, president of the Metairie-based Eagan Insurance Agency, said homeowners with the greatest risk to wind and storm damage will pay a greater percentage of the rate increase.
'The closer we are to the gulf, the further south and more exposed we are, the higher we're going to bare the cost,' said Eagan.
Donelon does not think Hurricane Isaac will have much of an impact on future increases in homeowners insurance policies based on the state's experience after Hurricane Gustav in 2008.
'I think there are areas that did not get hit in Katrina that did get hit in this storm. I think insurance companies are re-looking at some of those parishes,' he said.
Donelon said it's best for customers to check out some of the newer, lesser known insurance companies now writing policies in Louisiana.
'I'm now saving about $350 a month for having done that shopping and moving to a different insurer a year and a half ago.'
Donelon said he doesn't expect rate payers in different parts of the state to pay more of the Allstate increase percentage-wise because the increases are based on higher charges by reinsurers, the companies that insure the insurance companies.