A small deep southern state like Louisiana should not have the highest insurance rates in the country, former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown writes in his weekly column. You’d expect property insurance in states close to the hurricane prone Gulf of Mexico to be somewhat higher, he notes, “but no state, in the south or elsewhere across the country, continues to have such high, across the board insurance costs.” Brown says Louisiana’s auto insurance is the most expensive in the country, and its health insurance is also at the top of the national list.

As a result, legislators are feeling the heat from their constituents, and those lawmakers will be looking for answers. Brown says in the coming weeks, a joint legislative committee on insurance, made of insurance committee members from both the House and the Senate, will begin a series of hearings to try to make sense of why the present insurance climate is so out of whack. The hearings at the Capitol will begin in the middle of March and continue through the spring legislative session. State Sen. Troy Hebert of Jeanerette and Rep. Chuck Kleckley of Lake Charles will head up this joint effort.

Read the rest of Brown’s column here.

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