LOUISIANA (KLFY)– Louisiana is experiencing an insurance crisis, and incoming Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple believes he can change that.
Temple will take over in January, and his biggest goal is to bring the record-high insurance rates down for people across the state.
“When you pay your premium, you expect your claim to be paid timely because the insurance company certainly expects you to pay your premium on time,” Temple said. “We’re going to make sure they also pay their claims on time.
While insurance companies can be a hassle to work with, Temple knows insurance helps people.
“You can’t drive a car without insurance,” Temple said “You can’t own a mortgage without insurance. You can’t operate a business without insurance. So, I see the positive benefits that insurance plays every day on people’s lives. So, I want to make sure it’s there, it’s available, and it’s affordable.”
What Temple wants to do is bring insurance rates down, and he’s confident he can do that.
“Everybody talks about the hurricanes we’ve had,” Temple said. “We have flooding on a regular basis, and now we have wildfires. It’s not the weather. It’s not the weather component. We can’t do anything about it, so we shouldn’t try and say we’ve got to do something about hurricanes. What we can do is we have control over our regulatory environment in the state of Louisiana, and we have control over our statutory, our legal environment in the state. So I’m going to focus on that.”
Temple’s plan is to make Louisiana a more attractive state for insurance companies to come back or to come for the first time.
“You can’t regulate premium decreases, and you can’t mandate premium decreases,” Temple said. “The only thing you can do that’s going to be lasting is create a competitive environment so that more companies come in. When more companies come to Louisiana, you have choices, and when you have choices, that’s when you see rates go down.”
He said insurance companies are not the enemy.
“We want companies to come in,” Temple said. “We want them to be vibrant. We want them to make money because you can’t pay claims if you don’t make money. You’ve got to have a profit.”
“At the same time, we’re going to make sure that they handle their business right, that they have proper reinsurance, that they have financial resources to handle catastrophic claims if we’re taking about homeowners,” he added. “If we’re talking about auto, we’re going to make sure they have a fair playing field, but we’re going to hold them accountable.”
Temple said he’s working on a plan to bring insurance companies back in. He feels confident he can bring insurance rates down for people across the state.
He has over 20 years of experience in the insurance field. His family started and operated an insurance company in Deridder for many years. Temple has also worked as an insurance agent, a reinsurance broker, and worked in catastrophe claims management. He’s managed an offshore captive in Bermuda, was part of the executive management team for large commercial trucking agency and worked in part of the BP oil spill claims facility.