BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon says there’s a greater chance that insurance will cover your next hurricane evacuation, starting next year.

Donelon made the announcement Tuesday afternoon while reviewing some of the legislature’s latest laws that will impact the insurance industry.

Previously, most insurance companies required parish presidents to order evacuations before they would cover the costs. But during Hurricane Ida, by the time the storm’s course and strength were known, some parish leaders said that they did not have sufficient time to order evacuations. They feared people could be stuck in traffic as the worst part of the storm passed.

Now, instead of a mandatory evacuation, anytime the governor’s office declares a disaster or an emergency for parishes in a storm’s path, it will trigger insurance clauses to cover evacuations.

To read the legislation, click here.

The new law doesn’t take effect until January, so homeowners will have to ride out this hurricane season under the terms of their current insurance policies.

Donelon also announced new regluations to motivate more insurance companies to make bigger investments in their Louisiana business. Previously, a company had to prove it had $3 million in surplus before it could write policies in the state. Now, the state is increasing that surplus requirement — initially to $5 million, then $10 million — over a series of years.

Donelon doesn’t think the reserve amount will make that much of a difference in a company’s ability to pay claims. But it could convince the companies to protect their required investment and purchase reinsurance to cover their own losses following a major disaster.

After Hurricane Ida, six insurance companies in the state announced they were no longer solvent and could not pay for all of their customers’ losses.

“The reason that minimum capital in surplus is to have the owners of those companies have more — as I refer to it — skin in the game,” Donelon said during Tuesday’s news conference.

To read this new law click here.

The law takes effect August 1 of this year.

The new requirement is similar to a law that Florida enacted to deal with a similar issue in that state.

Donelon says that after Hurricane Ida, morethan 800k insurance claims were filed, and his office handled more than 7k complaints following Ida, Laura, Delta and Zeta.