• September 22, 2023

Bankrupt insurance companies making Hurricane Ida rebuilding hard for many

“You may pay for years and never need them but when you do need them, they’re like, ‘Hey, we can’t deal with this,’” said Corner.

HAHNVILLE, La. — “I didn’t get to know my kitchen because I was only living here for a week and four days before the hurricane hit,” said Kendra Corner as she walked through her gutted St. Charles Parish home.  

Corner barely had moved into her Hahnville home when she and her family had to evacuate for Hurricane Ida.   

“The winds were so strong that it busted our doors open,” said Corner.   

Extensive damage had her reaching out to her insurance company, Access Home Insurance Company. It took two months before she got any money, and she says not enough of it.  

“We were able to fix the roof and we’re doing dry wall and a few other things,” said Corner.  

That’s where it stops because her insurance company is no longer making payments.   

“You may pay for years and never need them but when you do need them, they’re like, ‘Hey, we can’t deal with this,’” said Corner. 

Access Home Insurance Company and State National Fire Insurance Company were recently put into receivership by the state.  

“It happens when a company cannot pay its bills,” said Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon. 

Donelon says the state started monitoring 15 at-risk companies after Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta last year. Between the two companies in receivership, about 30,000 policies are impacted. 

“Whatever little bit we can get done with whatever they send out, that’s what we’re doing,” said Corner’s contractor Denise Alejandro with All Approved Roofing and Construction. “That’s what we’re doing but we’re not able to complete a job.”  

Alejandro and her partner Leo say they’ve dealt with insurance companies for years and have never seen something so disheartening.  

“It’s just sad to see people going through this,” said Leo Rodriguez with All Approved Roofing and Construction. 

Corner, a Navy Veteran, now pays a mortgage on a gutted home she can’t live in. 

“It’s very frustrating, sleepless nights,” said Corner. 

With the frustration, some hopeful news was announced Wednesday. The state reports a private company is set to assume all those policies tied up in receivership, like Corner’s. 

“She can now relax and stay put with her policy and know that it will renew under the same terms and conditions,” said Donelon.  

Considering what she’s been through, Corner is waiting to see what happens.  

“You’re just guarded because you don’t know what’s next,” said Corner.  

The Louisiana Department of Insurance is investigation about 3,000 formal complaints against insurers for their handling of Hurricane Ida claims.  

RELATED: Last chance for Ida debris pick-up: NOLA

RELATED: Hurricane Ida volunteer loses home to Kentucky tornadoes