Insurer won’t seek bond issue

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. won’t ask the state Bond Commission a second time to approve a $100 million bond issue.

At its March 21 meeting, the Bond Commission adjourned rather than consider the state-backed insurer of last resort’s request.

Citizens faces a $70 million shortfall, largely as a result of $140 million in class-action lawsuit settlements involving claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Citizens Chief Financial Officer Steve Cottrell said at a meeting Wednesday that the company will keep a close eye on its books for now. If necessary, Citizens’ board can assess property insurers doing business in the state, raising $200 million in 30 days, he said.

Insurers would pass those assessments along to property owners.

Citizens board member Jim Napper said Wednesday that the result at the Bond Commission wasn’t a surprise.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and state Treasurer John Kennedy opposed the idea, said Napper, who represents Kennedy on the board.

“If we go back, we could get a similar result or worse,” Napper said.