Insurance agents say mortgage companies contribute to insurance crisis and other news

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — Amid the ongoing insurance crisis, some mortgage companies are blaming some homeowners in pain after their insurance coverage was canceled by insurers who failed or fled Louisiana after Hurricane Ida.

Ross Fayard owns Amstate insurance company.

“For some reason, mortgage companies are slowing down right now,” Fayard said.

When it became known that some insurance companies would cancel thousands of policies in late June and mid-July, insurance commissioner Jim Donelon announced that agents would have an additional 60 days to place policies from failed insurers with the citizens of Louisiana, the state’s insurance company of last resort. .

Donelon’s office said, “With this change, Citizens will effectively provide coverage for Lighthouse Excalibur and Maison policyholders from June 30 to August 28 and Southern Fidelity policyholders from July 16 to September 13, if agents place policies with Citizens up to 60. is the day of the deadline, and this is a risk that meets the guidelines of the citizens.

The problem, according to some insurance brokers, is that some mortgage companies that pay premiums for homeowners didn’t act fast enough to meet the deadline.

“We call the mortgage company, invoice the mortgage company, download it, the mortgage companies take forever to pay it, so even though the Citizens let you reissue the policy backdated, you still have to pay for it, and the mortgage companies are dragging their feet. , and when they finally pay, guess how the renewal ends up,” Fayard said.

And as a result, some homeowners suffer from compulsory coverage by their creditors, which can be very expensive.


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FOX 8 asked Donelon about the issue for this post.

“I heard about the threat of this from mortgage companies, but have not yet heard that this is being implemented. Sometimes it is in the interest of the lender to force the placement because of their financial agreement with the company through which they are doing the forced placement,” he said.

Fayard says, “If they get forced coverage, go to your agent, because you will know, you will know when that extra $5,000, $6,000 is in your balance, you will know about it, so I suggest you do that, go to your agent, get a track record, for example, if you have insurance in my office, you can come here, we will give you as a diary about what we did, when we did it, the time we did it who we are with spoke,” he said.

Fayard said he spoke to a client on Friday (September 23) who had a similar problem.

“And of course they now had a forced placement policy. So what I did was to upload a new invoice with a binding document effective today that would immediately cancel this enforced coverage, but it’s a pain in the ass because now you have to reanalyze your escrow, it’s a headache . ,” he said.

Robert Cagle, insurance broker for TWFG Insurance, says he has been working hard to find new coverage for clients who had their coverage canceled this year.

“It was a monumental task to just insure people, and then not everyone answers the phone, not everyone, and they don’t know about it until their creditor forcibly puts them in, because the creditor is going to protect their interests first,” he said. .

Donelon recommends that insurance agents whose clients have been affected by compulsory insurance contact his office.

“I encourage anyone, any agent or their client, to call us at 800-259-5300, we work closely with the offices of financial institutions and involve them in resolving any such issues with creditors,” Donelon said.

Fayard says that given the current insurance climate, it would be a good idea to check insurance coverage.

“If you can’t get through to your agent, call your insurance company and say, ‘Look, I just want to make sure I have insurance because with all the craziness going on, there’s a good chance the ball fell off somewhere. “. ,” he said.

Donelon remains optimistic about the plan to bring more insurers into the state. He requested that his department’s excessive fees, which usually go back to the state’s general fund, be used as initial funding for the “Louisiana Insurance Company Incentive Program.”

“If they get $5 million in grant money, they have to put in another $5 million of their own money, and then they have to commit to write double the $10 million or $20 million of new business and stay in that business for at least five years.” Donelon said.

However, his office said the fund must be recognized by the Revenue Evaluation Committee and then approved through the BA-7 legislative process before it can be made available to the program. REC doesn’t meet again until December.

Cagle says he’s praying that Louisiana won’t be hit by a hurricane this year.

“I think that after the end of the storm season, the responsibility of other companies will be better than now,” he said.

And Fayard gave this advice to people receiving reimbursement from the Louisiana Insurance Guarantee Association, known as LIGA.

“When you start getting a refund, don’t escrow that check because if that check gets lost, trying to stop payment on that check would be a nightmare. I would advise you to just take this check and deposit it into your account, into your personal account,” Fayard said.

He said the funds could be used to lower monthly mortgage payments.

“Let’s just say the refund is $2,000, take that, and then write a check to escrow for $2,000, and when your check is cleared by the bank, call them, tell them, see if I can reanalyze my escrow, to get my house. prepayment, that’s important because checks for reimbursement are starting to circulate.”

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