Thousands of homeowners with tainted Chinese drywall in their homes may have been thrown a lifeline.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill preventing insurance companies from cancelling the policies of homeowners who have found the corrosive material in their houses.
According to Jindal’s office, the governor has signed into law the legislation — Senate Bill 595 — which was sponsored by Metairie Sen. Julie Quinn.
The law stipulates that insurers will not be allowed to cancel or refuse renewal of homeowners’ policies because of the presence of Chinese-made drywall, which has been said to be not only damaging but also the cause of various health concerns. The bill does not, however, prohibit insurers from raising premiums or deductible.
Various insurance industry lobbyists opposed the ban, contending that it violates existing contracts. Some consumers are also displeased, fearing excessive premium hikes.
SB 595 only deals with drywall that was imported from or manufactured in China prior to Dec. 31, 2009. Insurers found to be in violation will incur a penalty totaling as much as $15,000.
The law remains in effect until July 1, 2013. It can be found on the Louisiana State Legislature website.