Louisiana’s long-serving Republican insurance commissioner faces a challenger for the upcoming primary election.
Jim Donelon is being challenged by state Rep. Tim Temple (R-Baton Bouge) in the Oct. 12 GOP primary.
Temple says he is unhappy with how Donelon has been helming the Louisiana Department of Insurance, noting that Donelon has done very little in reducing insurance rates and has not campaigned to bring other insurance companies into the state. But other politicians have claimed that Donelon has done everything in his power to try and lower insurance rates in the state of Louisiana.
State Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge) has some personal experience in the insurance rates battle that the state has been engaging in. In April, his auto insurance reform bill was defeated in committee. Both Donelon and Talbot were confident that the bill would lead to lower insurance rates.
“Jim Donelon did everything he could to help me pass that bill ... stating that the passage of the bill would result in lower rates,” Talbot said. “He also testified at length with Sen. [Sharon] Hewitt for her tort reform measure that would have been helpful as well.”
The senate committee rejected the bill, arguing it wouldn’t actually lower insurance rates, as promised by Talbot.
The high cost of auto insurance is a huge factor in the upcoming election for Louisiana insurance commissioner. Talbot feels the issue shouldn’t just fall on the commissioner's shoulders though.
“I do not fault the insurance commissioner; the commissioner does not have the authority to mandate that companies lower rates,” Talbot said. “The issue requires a legislative fix.”
The issues that Temple, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, is raising in this primary race could create the shift in legislation that Talbot desires.