NU Online News Service, Aug. 21, 3:44 p.m.EDT

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Louisiana's top insurance regulator said Citizen's PropertyInsurance Corp. will be able to post a $95 million bond so thestate-backed carrier can appeal a crushing $92.8 millionjudgment.

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said he was "certain" itwould not be necessary to assess Citizens' policyholders for thecash to appeal to the Louisiana State Supreme Court in a caseinvolving Hurricane Katrina claims.

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Mr. Donelon said that both Berkshire Hathaway and Travelers hadoffered the insurer "reasonable conditions" to secure the bond.

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In March, Jefferson Parish Judge Henry Sullivan ruled thatCitizens owed the money to 18,573 policyholders with damage fromthe 2005 storm because there were delays in adjusting claims.

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The commissioner said he was confident the appeal would succeedbecause three different lawyers had advised that Citizens has avery strong case.

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Mr. Donelon noted that before the Jefferson Parish court'sruling, the insurer had reached a $17 million settlement of theadjustment issues in Orleans Parish Court and that agreement shouldhave ended such cases as a res judicata, what is known inlaw as a thing decided.

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Citizens' attorneys had argued that as a public entity, theyshould not have to post bond in order to appeal, but Judge Sullivandenied their request.

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On Wednesday, Mr. Donelon had said without posting a bond byMonday's deadline, the plaintiffs in the pending class action couldseize from Citizens' checking account the full amount of theirjudgment, which would leave only $5 million for continuingoperations.

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