A state-run insurance company of last resort has agreed to settle two remaining class-action lawsuits tied to claims handled after hurricanes Katrina and Rita for $61 million.
The board for the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. voted unanimously Thursday to settle the long-running lawsuits. Policyholders sued the company over the slow handling of claims after the hurricanes struck in 2005.
The board also authorized company CEO Richard Robertson to put a cap of $4,500 per claim.
Homeowners will pay $54 on average next year on their insurance policies to cover bond payments being made by state-backed Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which had to borrow nearly $1 billion to pay claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The board voted Thursday to impose a 3.74 percent assessment on all commercial and personal policyholders in the state starting Jan. 1.
Renewed flooding and widespread power outages spread across New Orleans as Hurricane Rita blew through the Gulf Coast. But for a city already reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the damage from Rita was far less than feared. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from New Orleans.