The Louisiana Insurance Department announced that it will have two appointments this month.
According to Commissioner Jim Donelon, the incoming chief deputy commissioner of insurance will be Al Ater. Starting January 11, Mr. Ater will be become managerial head of the department’s daily operations.
Incidentally, the department noted that this appointment for Mr. Ater will actually be a come-back for him since he served as Chief Deputy Commissioner from 2004 to 2005. After which, he had experience as first assistant at the Department of State. Next, in July 2005, he was named Secretary of State.
The new managerial head was described in the official Insurance Department statement which said that Mr. Ater was elected to the Legislature of Louisiana in 1984 before being re-elected in 1988 without any significant amount of political opposition. Moreover, he was a farmer, a private businessman and a former representative of the state.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Department also sent out word that Denise Brignac, incumbent Deputy Commissioner, will be promoted as Chief of Staff for the entire unit. Since February 2008, Brignac has served the state as Chief Deputy Commissioner.
Her appointment recognizes her capacity as former deputy commissioner in the Office of Financial Solvency for the department. Currently, Ms. Brignac will keep serving as chairman of the board for the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Incidentally, on the board, she serves as designee of the commissioner.
As for Donelon, he continues to oversee implementation of the new state law which was in effect since January 1. Since then, auto insurance costs for over 1 million Louisiana automobile owners were raised due to increases in the mandated minimum liability coverage.
This law was approved in 2008. Donelon admits that the increase in insurance bills comes at a very difficult time, especially for consumers.
Moreover, he concedes that there will be thousands of drivers who will still be able to afford extra costs. He suggests that availing of pre-emptive protection is much better than being among thousands who are left uncompensated by damage, which is a characteristic of minimally insured drivers.
The new state law in Louisiana presently compels auto owners to have al least “15-30-25” liability coverage. This scheme includes coverage amounting to $15,000 (for injury or death to one person in an accident), $30,000 (for injury or death to more than one person), and $25,000 (for damage of other people’s property).
Donelon also explained that he is well aware that there will be those who do not typically pay attention to their insurance rates and this may work against their favor.