Judge rules insurers do not have to cover Hurricane Ida evacuation costs

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A Baton Rouge adjudication judge rules that Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon did not have the authority to order insurance companies to pay policyholders for expenses to those who evacuated during Hurricane Ida.

The ruling means people who evacuated will not be reimbursed for food, gas, and hotels because parishes, including Jefferson, Livingston, Orleans, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa, did not issue a mandatory evacuation.

The ruling was handed down Friday by Judge Patrick E. Moore of the Division of Administrative Law who adjudicates legal disputes between people and agencies that govern them.

The judge wrote that the law does not give Donelon the authority to require insurance companies to pay evacuation costs if there was no mandatory evacuation. This leaves policyholders on the hook to absorb the cost if they evacuated.