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St. Paul withdrawal from La. coast on hold


ST. PAUL, Minn.--St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc. is re-examining a decision to stop renewing small and midsize commercial property risks in New Orleans and other Louisiana coastal areas, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based insurer announced intentions earlier this month to stop renewing those coverages in 2007. But the insurer last week met with Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Insurance Commissioner James Donelon and agents and brokers in the state.

It has now put its plan to stop providing coverage on hold while considering a variety of options proposed by the commissioner, the spokeswoman said, although she declined to reveal those options.

St. Paul, which is the second-largest commercial property writer in Louisiana, has paid more than $1 billion in Hurricane Katrina-related claims, the spokeswoman said.