September 7, 2012
From: Laura Woodard Clark
Director of Media Relations
Louisiana Department of Insurance contracts with ULM College of Business
For the seventh year, the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s College of Business has been awarded a research contract from the Louisiana Department of Insurance to study and provide support for proposed legislative insurance reforms.
The college’s research aims to provide support for reforms that improve the Louisiana insurance market, making insurance more available and rates more affordable.
Dr. Christine Berry, principle investigator and director of insurance studies at ULM, said, “Louisiana’s complicated insurance premium tax structure results in some of the highest costs in the country to insurance companies that sell insurance policies in the state.
If the state can find a way to reduce the cost of conducting business for these companies, then insurance consumers should begin to see increased availability and lower rates.”
Berry has worked on this as well as other research projects (for the Louisiana Department of Insurance) that have focused on improving the competitive nature of the Louisiana insurance marketplace.
ULM College of Business economists Dr. Robert Eisenstadt, associate professor of economics and insurance, and Dr. Paul Nelson, associate professor and head of economics and insurance, have also contributed to the research over the years.
Berry has developed a model that predicts tax collections for different tax scenarios.
This decision support tool can help Louisiana lawmakers make more informed decisions if the Department of Insurance decides to propose changes to the premium tax structure in future legislative sessions.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance enforces the insurance laws and regulations of the state including licensing of producers, insurance adjusters, public adjusters and insurers, and serve as advocate for the state’s insurance consumers.
For more information about the department visit www.ldi.la.gov