Louisiana Probes Allstate, St. Paul On Katrina Complaints

STEVE TUCKEY
National Underwriter News
May 22, 2006
Posted June 18, 2006


The Louisiana Department of Insurance said it will investigate Hurricane Katrina-related claims-handling practices of St. Paul Travelers and Allstate.

Commissioner James Donelon said the probe of the two insurers follows a review of company complaint to marketshare ratio of all licensed carriers in the state.

Spokesmen for Allstate and St. Paul's, however, said such market conduct examinations are common following events of Katrina's magnitude and expressed pride at their claims handlers' accomplishments under trying circumstances.

The Louisiana department said that Allstate, which has 22 percent of the marketshare, had 1,287 complaints. St. Paul Travelers, with 4 percent of the market, had 230 complaints.

Department spokeswoman Amy Wittington said that among the most common complaints were those dealing with the "wind versus flood" issue and additional living expenses claims.

Both insurers pledged their full cooperation with the investigation.

The examinations could take several months and carriers face fines of $25,000 for each intentional instance of an unfair practice.

"This will take three months at the minimum," Ms. Wittington said.

Copyright © 2006 by The National Underwriter Company



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