New Orleans: Risky business for insurance

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Simons, John (2007) New Orleans: Risky business for insurance. Fortune.


Silver-haired and 62, Jim Donelon has never worked so hard. The New Orleans-born lawyer and politician has suddenly become a traveling salesman of sorts. His pitch: "Come sell insurance in New Orleans." In recent weeks, the Louisiana state insurance commissioner has traveled to Columbia, S.C., to meet the chief executive of Companion Property & Casualty Group, to Seattle to call on the board of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and to London, where he spoke to insurers at Lloyd's. "When I talk to executives, I share some positives about the business environment. The levees are being rebuilt," Donelon says. "And more importantly, with our Napoleonic Code [which does not impose punitive damages], we are a much less intimidating litigation environment than our neighboring states.