Bankrupt insurance companies make Hurricane Ida recovery difficult for many

“You can pay for years and never need it, but when you need it, they’re like, ‘Hey, we can’t handle this,'” Corner said.

HAHNVILLE, Louisiana — “I didn’t get to know my kitchen because I only lived here a week and four days before the hurricane hit,” Kendra Corner said as she walked through her gutted home in St. Charles.

Corner had barely moved into her Hahnville home when she and her family had to evacuate for Hurricane Ida.

“The winds were so strong they blew our doors open,” Corner said.

Extensive damage led her to contact her insurance company, Access Home Insurance Company. It took two months before she got the money, and she says she doesn’t have enough.

“We were able to fix the roof and we’re doing some drywall and a few other things,” Corner said.

This is where it stops because his insurance company no longer pays.

“You can pay for years and never need it, but when you need it, they’re like, ‘Hey, we can’t handle this,'” Corner said.

Access Home Insurance Company and State National Fire Insurance Company were recently placed in receivership by the state.

“It happens when a company can’t pay its bills,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said.

Donelon says the state began monitoring 15 at-risk businesses after hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta last year. Between the two companies in receivership, approximately 30,000 policies are impacted.

“Whatever we can do with whatever they send in, that’s what we do,” said Corner contractor Denise Alejandro of All Approved Roofing and Construction. “That’s what we’re doing, but we’re not able to complete a job.”

Alejandro and his partner Leo say they have been dealing with insurance companies for years and have never seen anything so daunting.

“It’s just sad to see people going through this,” said Leo Rodriguez of All Approved Roofing and Construction.

Corner, a Navy veteran, is now paying a mortgage on a gutted house she can’t live in.

“It’s very frustrating, sleepless nights,” Corner said.

With the frustration, hopeful news was announced on Wednesday. The state reports that a private company is willing to take on all of these receivership-related policies, like Corner’s.

“She can now relax and stay put with her police and know she will be renewed on the same terms and conditions,” Donelon said.

Given what she’s been through, Corner is waiting to see what happens.

“You’re just on your toes because you don’t know what’s next,” Corner said.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance is investigating 3,000 formal complaints against insurers for their handling of claims related to Hurricane Ida.

RELATED: Last Chance For Ida’s Debris Pickup: NOLA

RELATED: Hurricane Ida volunteer loses home to Kentucky tornadoes

Kristan F. Talley