Senate panel OKs Allain bill on Citizens rate hikes

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Large rate hikes for customers of Louisiana’s property insurer of last resort would require legislative approval, under a bill that received Senate Insurance Committee backing.

St. Mary Parish Sen. Bret Allain sponsored the measure after residents of his parish who get insurance from the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. recently faced rate hikes of 171 percent.

Allain says he wants to make sure insurance isn’t overpriced and to prevent huge increases that hit property owners too quickly.

The bill would require annual rate hikes over 25 percent to get approval from the House and Senate insurance committees. It also would allow Citizens to spread increases over two to five years.

The proposal, approved without objection Wednesday, heads to the full Senate.

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