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Changes May Cut Homeowner's Insurance Costs

Most people are not aware of a recent change in Louisiana law that allows for a reduction of your homeowner's insurance premium.

LSA-R.S. 22:1483 requires all insurers of Louisiana residents to reduce the insurance premium to those who build or retrofit their homes to comply with the requirements of the state's uniform construction code.

What this means is that if you have built your home since the effective date of the state building code (2007), or if you received damage from a hurricane or other source and made repairs in compliance with the state building code, you can get a discount on your homeowner's insurance. You can also get a discount if you have certain measures that protect against wind damage, even if not required by the building code. Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon issued Regulation 94 providing rules with which the insurance companies must comply to enforce this provision.

The regulation applies to homes that have been built or retrofitted, and to modular homes, but not to mobile homes (trailers). It does not apply to commercial buildings, or to accessory buildings such as barns, detached garages, storage buildings, etc.

The homeowner is required to obtain an inspection by a "qualified professional," including a building code enforcement officer, registered architect, registered engineer, or a registered third-party provider. A registered third-party provider is a certified wind inspector licensed by the state. At last count, there were less than 20 such providers in Louisiana. These certified wind inspectors charge between $100 and $200 to make the inspection. Louisiana Citizens accepts inspections from the parish building inspector.

The regulation says the insurance company can require the insured to provide as documentation the existence of mitigation measures. A sample inspection form is attached to Regulation 94, but insurance companies may use different forms.

The amount of the discount depends on the location of the property and the number of recognized wind mitigation measures that are used. If you have every possible mitigation measure, you may get a discount of 30 percent on your premiums. For hurricane storm shutters, a homeowner can receive a 10 percent discount if certain provisions are met. An additional discount of between 5 percent and 8 percent is given for roof mitigation systems, and another discount of 8 percent is given for a total hip roof.

As attorneys, we are concerned the public is largely unaware of this opportunity. The Louisiana Association for Justice is having discussions with the commissioner of insurance's office on how we might increase public awareness. We felt that this letter might serve as a first step in "getting the word out" to the residents of our area so that as many people as possible can take advantage of this discount.

Thanks to Our 2023 PIA Partners:
AFCO Capital Premium Financing CRC Group Gulf States Insurance Co.
LRA Workers' Comp National General, an Allstate company Stonetrust Insurance
Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana
4021 W. E. Heck Ct., Building K • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816
(800) 349-3434 • (225) 766-7770 • (225) 766-1601 (fax)