BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO)— A ruling from a Baton Rouge judge states insurers do not have to cover evacuation expenses for those who left the state during Hurricane Ida if their parish did not issue mandatory orders to leave.

“I take exception with the terminology that I abused my authority or whatever the language is in the order and we will be pursuing this again legislatively if we have to,” said Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. He admitted he may have exceeded his authority after he ordered insurers to pay evacuation expenses for those who left the state during Hurricane Ida, regardless of which parish they lived in.

A judge ruled against the commissioner saying Donelon’s actions were “shocking to the conscience and clearly wrong.”


Legislation is now on the books to protect all policyholders in parishes as long as the governor declares a state of emergency. But that wouldn’t take effect until January 1, 2023.

“We are going to huddle with our legal staff here next week to make sure what we are doing meets the guidelines of the DAL,” said Commissioner Donelon.

This news comes in the wake of yet another insurance company that has pulled out of Louisiana.

Southern Fidelity has now left Louisiana, which means over 40,000 people no longer have insurance.

Those policyholders will have two more months to find it.

“We have extended the deadline for an additional 60 days to September 13,” said Commissioner Donelon. “We did that through Citizens, our policy of last resort.”

Louisiana Citizens now has about 95,000 policies in the works as a result of hurricanes and insurance providers leaving Louisiana.

Just this year about half a dozen insurance companies have withdrawn from the state.