Louisiana points cease-and-desist order to New Orleans insurance coverage firm

The Louisiana Division of Insurance coverage (LDI) has ordered a New Orleans insurance coverage to halt all enterprise practices after investigators decided the corporate didn’t remit premiums from two shoppers.

The transfer follows a joint legislative committee assembly on the Capitol the place lawmakers expressed frustrations with insurance coverage delays and failures related to Hurricane Ida and different pure disasters occurring for the reason that 2020 hurricane season.

“At the very least two clients have been harmed by the scheme and LDI is anxious there could also be others,” Commissioner Jim Donelon stated in an announcement.

Investigators served cease-and-desist orders on the Citywide Insurance coverage Company of New Orleans two days after legislators grilled state insurance coverage business representatives and stakeholders Dec. 1. Donelon testified within the assembly .

The division introduced the Citywide accountability effort Thursday. It consists of license suspensions and $5,000 fines for violating the Louisiana Insurance coverage Code.

After 30 days, the suspensions will grow to be everlasting revocations, the division stated.

Hurricane Ida slammed into New Orleans on Aug. 29, inflicting mass energy outages and billions of {dollars} in property harm throughout the southeast area.

In line with the cease-and-desist order , one Citywide buyer discovered her home-owner’s insurance coverage had been terminated when she tried to file a declare for storm harm.

One other buyer filed a grievance with the Insurance coverage Division in November after discovering she didn’t have insurance coverage protection regardless of paying her required premiums, the order stated.

The consumer “was unaware that her property was uninsured throughout most of 2021 due to your actions,” the order reads.

Each circumstances contain a number of cases of gathering premium cash from the victims after which failing to buy insurance coverage merchandise, the division stated.

In a single occasion, investigators discovered Citywide insurance coverage agent Vilia Ann Ragas issued “a pretend certificates of insurance coverage from an organization that wasn’t even writing insurance policies on the time.”

The cease-and-desist doc additional particulars how Citywide and Ragas had been issued cease-and-desist orders in 2006 within the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, additionally for failing to remit premiums.

“In consequence, Ragas and Citywide Insurance coverage paid fines and misplaced their licenses for six months,” the doc stated.

Donelon stated he’s urging Citywide clients to contact their insurance coverage coverage carriers on to confirm protection. He added people who really feel “uneasy” about any insurance coverage transaction associated to Hurricane Ida and different pure disasters ought to name the division’s Insurance coverage Fraud Division .

“If callers are not looking for their names used, they will request that their involvement be saved confidential,” he stated.

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