Last Modified: Monday, March 03, 2014 12:43 PM
Each year many Louisiana property insurance policyholders forget or neglect to claim their Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Assessment rebate. Citizens is the state’s property insurer of last resort.
The Citizens assessment on insurance companies is to amortize the bonds issued by Citizens to cover the damages caused by the hurricanes of 2005 in excess of their cash and available reinsurance. The assessment was passed on to property and casualty policyholders each year by insurance companies. This Citizens assessment is fully refundable to consumers by the State of Louisiana once they have paid their annual insurance bill.
Policyholders can access the necessary forms and more information on both the rebates and the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code state tax deduction and insurance premium discounts on the Louisiana Department of Insurance website www.ldi.la.gov. Citizens assessment rebate forms can also be found on the Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/citizens.
“The Citizens rebate can be claimed at any point during the year in one of three ways, but tax time may be the most convenient. At the end of 2013, nearly two-thirds of available Citizens rebate funds, nearly $240 million, went unclaimed,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “Whether you have insurance through Citizens or through another insurance company, you are entitled to the rebate once you have paid the assessment on your property insurance bill.”
The amount of the assessment rebate can be found on the declaration page of a property insurance policy. Once a policyholder knows the amount of their assessment, they can claim their rebates for 2010 through 2013 in one of three ways:
l Claim the rebate as a tax credit on your Louisiana Income Tax Return due each May. With this option your rebate will be included in your total tax calculation.
l Claim the rebate online through the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Online Filing and Payments webpage www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline. Users will need to create an account to access the electronic form for claiming their Citizens rebate.
l Claim the rebate by filling out a paper form. The one-page form along with the insurance declarations page can be mailed to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Forms (R-540INS) for all four calendar years are located on the Louisiana Department of Insurance and Louisiana Department of Revenue websites.
Businesses may claim the Citizens rebate by filing the Department of Revenue Form R-620INS or by filing a current-year or amended tax return. Individual policyholders may also claim the Citizens Assessment Rebate rebate by amending a prior-year tax return. A copy of the insurance policy declaration page showing proof of the assessment amount must be attached to any claim form.
You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov.
We believe the state needs to find an easier way for people to apply and receive their rebate. The best argument for that is the $240 million of Citizens rebate funds that went unclaimed.