Home Louisiana Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Friday, Nov. 8

Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Friday, Nov. 8

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FEMA delays flood insurance revamp

FEMA will delay by a year implementation of a National Flood Insurance Program revamp called Risk Rating 2.0, meant to provide a more accurate assessment of properties’ flood risk. Lawmakers had raised concerns about the change, which could lead to higher costs for many homeowners.

“This prevents potential increases in flood insurance premiums,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican. “It highlights the need for a long-term fix to make sure the National Flood Insurance Program is affordable for homeowners.”

Rather than using flood maps and zones to determine a homeowner’s premium rate, Risk Rating 2.0 would use statistical models and historical claims data, along with the replacement cost to rebuild the structure. Instead of making the change next October, right before the November national election, FEMA says it will wait until October 2021.

Insurance commissioner: Worker’s comp rates to fall 8.4 percent

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has approved the annual loss cost filing of the National Council on Compensation Insurance effective May 1, 2020. The filing reduces Workers Compensation rates 8.4 percent and continues the downward trend of the past six years, Donelon says.

Rates have had a cumulative drop of 24 percent over the last five years and 55 percent over the last 20 years, he says.

“Through improved workplace safety and better risk management practices, these diminishing rates continue to benefit businesses statewide,” Donelon said.

The total Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance market is estimated to be in excess of $800 million in total premium.

State lawmakers clarify rule governing CBD; approve fees

A legislative committee this week approved the “convenience” fees tacked on to online payments for several state boards and agencies, such as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Though there is some variation, the fees granted to LDWF – $2.50 plus 2.5 percent of the cost of the service for credit card payments, $2.50 for ACH payments – are typical. Users can avoid the online fees by paying in person or by mail.

The committee also clarified the intent of recent legislation legalizing CBD products, telling Alcohol and Tobacco Control officials that they only need to regulate hemp-derived products that contain CBD, not all hemp products. Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, suggested lawmakers might want to consider tweaking the statute to more clearly reflect lawmakers’ intent next year.