Letter: La. residents bearing cost of reckless purchases

I received my homeowner’s insurance policy statement today. It states I am required to pay both a regular assessment and an emergency assessment. These assessments are identified as follows: “Every policyholder in Louisiana is charged and the amount is a percentage of your policy premium. ... According to Louisiana law, failure to pay the emergency assessment in full will result in the cancellation of your policy.”

My policy also states, “LA Citizens is a state-run corporation that provides property insurance for individuals who are unable to secure property insurance through other insurance carriers. This is often in high-risk or coastal areas.”

Although I am certainly willing to protect my own property with insurance (and am reasonably forced to do so when I have a mortgage on my property), I do not believe I should be forced to pay an assessment in order to provide insurance on property purchased by another — whether it is in a high-risk area or not.

Surely, anyone who purchases property in a high-risk area will have the intelligence to know that insurance on such property will be extremely high or unavailable.

Anyone who proceeds with such a purchase cannot later ask that all insured residents of Louisiana assume the responsibility for his/her reckless purchase.

Finally, it appears our legislators have determined that the formation of a state-run insurance company organized to underwrite the losses incurred by reckless purchases is more desirable than raising state income taxes since that will likely result in forfeiting their legislative offices.

Passing the responsibility for legislative acts onto private insurance companies who then levy their policyholders is a politically cowardly act.

Our legislators must also be willing to confront the consequences of their actions.

Paul Crawford

retired educator

Baton Rouge