BATON ROUGE, La. — In about four months, Tim Temple will be Louisiana's new insurance commissioner, and he's already asking state leaders to call a special legislative session in baton rouge.
Commissioner-elect Temple says he's already spoken with gubernatorial candidates and state lawmakers about the potential for this session. He says if it happens, the session won't be a laundry list of things he wants done but rather a collaborative effort to accomplish what can be done.
Temple says Louisiana needs to do a better job at creating a competitive marketplace for insurance companies to do business in.
"Insurance companies don't have to do business in the state of Louisiana. They get to pick and choose where they do business. So we have to create a competitive environment for them to want to come in, to be able to charge an appropriate premium, not excessive because if it's too expensive, it doesn't do anybody good, but they need to have a reasonable rate of return on their risk, but at the same time they've got to pay claims promptly and fairly when they're presented with them," Temple said.
Recently, the state has seen many companies leave the state and others go out of business. This has led to sky-high premiums for homeowners, many of whom have to now rely on the state's insurance program of last resort, known as Citizens. Temple says a lot of people simply can't afford it.
While residents can't control the weather, Temple says state leaders can control regulations and laws, which he feels need to be addressed.
Temple also says having a special session focused on insurance is the start to making that happen.