The new Insurance Commissioner of Louisiana, Tim Temple, intends to expedite reforms.


The new Insurance Commissioner of Louisiana, Tim Temple, intends to quickly implement proposed reforms to address the state's insurance crisis. 

He has informed insurance companies and policyholders to anticipate notable changes as he succeeds Jim Donelon.

Temple (pictured), who took office on January 8, has requested a special session in early 2024 to propose changes to property insurance laws. However, he mentioned that congressional redistricting matters were the top priority at Louisiana’s legislature this month.

Proposals will be considered during the upcoming regular session beginning on March 11.

Temple stated that the focus is on creating a roadmap of solutions by engaging with insurance companies, consumer advocacy groups, state lawmakers, agents, and policyholders to identify the fundamental problems and lay out regulatory changes that need to be made.

"Due to the timing constraints and the challenge of convening a special session, we plan to request the legislature to expedite the approval of the solutions we develop, aiming to deliver them to the governor promptly."

Proposed plan to address Louisiana's insurance challenges

The Temple is dedicated to enhancing the state as an appealing market for insurers, encouraging additional competitors to introduce more choices and, ideally, affordability for consumers.

He mentioned to Insurance Business that he has been very active since his inauguration just over a week ago.

"Everyone I speak to in this industry, including individuals with decades of experience, agrees that this is the most challenging insurance environment they have ever encountered," Temple said."The lack of availability at the consumer level means that even if insurance is accessible, it may be becoming too expensive for many individuals, families, and businesses."

The significant losses incurred during the hurricane seasons of 2020 and 2021 have led to many insurance companies leaving Louisiana. Increased insurance prices for consumers are a result of reduced competition and inflation-driven rising costs.

"My focus is on enhancing Louisiana's appeal to insurance companies by establishing a market that is attractive for them to conduct business in," Temple stated.

What are the expectations for Louisiana with its new Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple?

There are upcoming changes for the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI). Temple mentioned that his policy priorities differ from those of his predecessor, Donelon, in a few ways.

Temple disagrees with the insurer incentive programme that was introduced during last year's special session. The programme provided insurance companies with taxpayer funds to increase the number of policies written in the state. Temple mentioned that he would not be requesting additional funding for the programme in the future.

Temple is in support of the Fortify Homes programme, which provides up to $10,000 for homeowners to enhance their roofs to meet the standards set by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. He mentioned that the LDI is exploring various funding mechanisms to establish the programme on a more permanent basis.

"The current programme is structured in a way that requires us to seek funding from the legislature on an annual basis," Temple explained.

"I am exploring various methods to establish a reliable funding source to demonstrate the long-term nature of this programme and avoid annual budget constraints."

Temple's focus also includes enhancing the review standards for insurance companies in terms of their financial stability and reinsurance programmes. The commissioner mentioned that new entrants wishing to write in highly exposed areas must show that they have "more than adequate" reinsurance in place in case of catastrophic events.

"I am eager to collaborate with the industry to establish a competitive marketplace, while also ensuring accountability," Temple stated. There will be notable differences for policyholders and insurance companies in the future.

Temple also discussed the misconception of a binary outcome that can accompany regulatory reforms."Frequently, when individuals discuss alterations to the regulatory landscape that could benefit the industry, they tend to view it in a binary manner. 

They believe that if it benefits the industry, it must be detrimental to the consumer, or if it's advantageous to the consumer, it must be harmful to the industry," he explained. "I don't believe in that." I believe there is a balance.

Tim Temple, the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, discusses the importance of a collaborative approach to regulation.

Temple, a DeRidder native, has accumulated over twenty years of experience in the insurance sector. Additionally, Temple has held the position of president at Temptan, a family-owned investment management company based in Baton Rouge.

The individual emerged victorious in the election for the state’s top insurance official in October following the withdrawal of their opponent from the primary. The new Insurance Commissioner, Temple, is replacing Jim Donelon, who held the position for 17 years.

Temple mentioned to Insurance Business that his decision to run for commissioner began in 2017 when Donelan announced he would not seek a fifth term.

"I am at a point in my life where I felt I had the time, energy, and experience to engage in public service, and insurance has been my life; it has been my background," Temple said.

"We have not previously had an Insurance Commissioner with relevant experience in the insurance industry." I am excited to bring my understanding of insurance complexities to this office as I believe we can make a positive impact on the lives of every individual, family, and business in our state.

Temple expressed his commitment to a collaborative and engaged approach with stakeholders as he prepared for the upcoming hard work and discussions in the coming months.

"I am interested in hearing from the industry to help make this state a place where companies can thrive while also providing consumers with affordable products," he stated.

"I would like to engage in those discussions and focus on the industry's key aspects to enhance its appeal while also safeguarding consumers from unscrupulous individuals."


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