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Two State Regulators Hit the Road On Different Missions

Two of the nation's state insurance regulators are using speaking engagements to get different messages out. In Louisiana the message is the state is a...
May 2, 2006

Two of the nation's state insurance regulators are using speaking engagements to get different messages out. In Louisiana the message is the state is a good place for insurance companies to do business. In New York, the message is that Long Island is overdue for a hurricane.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says he plans to visit insurance companies throughout the United States in an effort to dispel myths about his agency and to highlight recent legislative changes that have set the groundwork for a more competitive market. Both Donelon and his predecessor J. Robert Wooley worked to overcome the department's reputation of being inefficient and of hosting insurance commissioners who eventually wound up in jail.

"I'm going to crisscross the country and refute our image of the three commissioners who went to jail and of the 18,000 policy forms sitting in the basement of our building," Donelon said. "We want companies to know how we're doing things on a proactive basis and not on a political basis."

Meanwhile in New York, Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills reminded PIA members that despite not being in the tropics, Long Island makes a very big target for hurricanes.  On September 21, 1938 an unnamed hurricane hit New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island with 150 mph winds. In a matter of hours 600 people were killed, 3500 were injured, and more than 75,000 buildings were damaged. The tidal wave-like storm-surge that hit Long Island and Rhode Island was so severe that earthquake instruments 3,000 miles away recorded it on seismographs.

"New Yorkers, especially in Long Island need to be aware of the fact that New York is a location that has had major hurricanes in the past, and we will certainly be the victim of a major hurricane in the future," said Mills. "Loss mitigation is the responsibility of everyone, not just insurance companies, but the insureds as well."

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