The Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance
is an elected state executive position in the Louisiana state government. Commissioners are elected to a four-year term and are not subject to term limits.
The Commissioner holds jurisdiction over the Life, Health and Accident, Property and Liability, Marine and Inland Marine, Fidelity and Surety, and Title insurance industries in Louisiana.
The current officeholder is James Donelon (R). He first assumed office in February 2006 when then commissioner J. Robert Wooley resigned. Donelon won a special election for the position in September 2006, a full term in October 2007 and re-election in 2011.
The Insurance Commissioner's powers and duties are established by Article IV, Section 11 of the Louisiana Constitution.
Article IV, Section 11:
| There shall be a Department of Insurance, headed by the commissioner of insurance. The department shall exercise such functions and the commissioner shall have powers and perform duties authorized by this constitution or provided by law.
Article IV, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution establishes the qualifications for statewide elective office:
To be eligible for any statewide elective office, a person, by the date of his qualification as a candidate, shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, be an elector, and have been a citizen of the United States and of this state for at least the preceding five years...During his tenure in office, a statewide elected official shall hold no other public office except by virtue of his elected office.
- at least 25 years of age
- be an elector
- citizen of the United States and Louisiana for 5 years
- hold no other public office
Louisiana elects insurance commissioners to four-year terms during gubernatorial election years. For Louisiana, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 are all insurance commissioner election years. Terms begin at noon on the second Monday in January following the election.
If a vacancy of less than one year occurs in the office, the position is filled by the first assistant. If a vacancy of greater than one year occurs an election takes place at the next regularly scheduled election, or, in none are scheduled within a year of the vacancy, a special election is called by the governor.
The duties of the Commissioner are outlined on the Department of Insurance website. It states:
The Commissioner of Insurance has complete jurisdiction over the Life, Health and Accident, Property and Liability, Marine and Inland Marine, Fidelity and Surety, and Title insurance industries in Louisiana. He is ultimately responsible for the collection of Insurance Premium Taxes and Fees as well as the approval of all policy forms offered to Louisiana citizens, and has a host of licensing and regulatory duties to ensure a fair and safe market for Louisiana's insurance consumers.
The Department of Insurance is under control of the Commissioner of Insurance. It includes the following five divisions:
Legal Services Division
- The Division of Legal Services "assists all other Departmental offices in the interpretation and application of the Louisiana Insurance Code, prepares pleadings and makes court appearances in matters involving the Department."
|Contact Legal Services|| |
|Executive Counsel Warren Byrd
Insurance Fraud Division
- The Insurance Fraud Division "investigates all instances of alleged or suspected fraud committed by or upon insurance agents, brokers and companies. The Fraud Section assists local, state and federal authorities in fraud investigations, as necessary, and cooperates with industry associations and organizations in the investigation and prevention of fraud."
|Contact Insurance Fraud|| |
|Director of Insurance Fraud Division Paul Boudreaux
Public Affairs Division
- The Public Affairs Division "accepts all media calls and public information requests; schedules TV, radio and print interviews with Department employees; and coordinates public speaking engagements by Department experts. Public Affairs prepares the Commissioner's weekly consumer-oriented radio broadcasts and produces more than a dozen publications, including department newsletters and consumer guides to purchasing insurance, preparing for disaster and spotting insurance fraud."
|Contact Public Affairs|| |
|Public Information Director Judy Wright
Minority Affairs Division
- The Minority Affairs Division "works to increase the active involvement of minorities in Louisiana's insurance industry by providing educational and information services to minorities to foster a greater awareness of the opportunities available in the insurance industry and of the skills, training, and education necessary to prepare for opportunities in employment, appointment as agents and contracting for services with insurance companies."
|Contact Minority Affairs|| |
|Executive Staff Officer Gayle Raby
Internal Audit Division
- The Internal Audit Division "assists management by identifying weaknesses and deficiencies in Departmental Operations and making recommendations for necessary corrective actions. Internal Audit also provides management assistance to divisions upon request. This division also performs special projects, as assigned by the Commissioner through his designee."
|Contact Internal Audit|| |
|Director of Internal Audit Nancy C. Vogt
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Article IV, Section 4 of the Louisiana Constitution defines the method by which the insurance commissioner's compensation is set:
Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, the compensation of each statewide elected official shall be provided by law. An increase in the salary of a statewide elected official shall not become effective until the commencement of the subsequent term for that office following the adoption or enactment of the increase.
In 2012, the commissioner was paid an estimated $115,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.
In 2010, the Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance was paid an estimated $115,000 according to LaTrac.
P.O. Box 94214
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Public Records Request
Custodian of Records
Louisiana Department of Insurance
1702 North 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5143
P.O. Box 94214, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214