Louisiana Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Advocay

Volume 1, Issue 9
DECEMBER 2010

DIVAS and DAUGHTERS Conference
12/9/2010
3250 North Acadian Thruway
Baton Rouge, LA

 

For speaking engagements scheduled after the release of the newsletter or for more detailed information about engagements listed in the newsletter, visit our website at www.ldi.la.gov. Click on the Events tab, found in the center of the home page.

To view previous newsletters, click on Consumer Advocacy under Consumers.

To find out if Consumer Advocacy will be in your area or to request a speaker for your organization or group, call (225) 219-0619 or send an email to
consumeradvocacy@ld.la.gov

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter please send an email to the following address with "REMOVE" in the subject line.
consumeradvocacy@ld.la.gov

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon Elected to Serve as Vice President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently elected Insurance Commissioner James J. Donelon as Vice President for 2011. As Vice President, Donelon’s primary role will be to assist the President and President-Elect in performing all duties which may be assigned. Donelon is presently serving on the Executive Committee of the NAIC and is chairman of its Surplus Lines Task Force. 

With the passage of recent congressional legislation on both financial and health care reform, the NAIC has a critical role in the implementation of those measures as they impact the insurance markets and consumers across the nation.  As Vice President of the NAIC, Commissioner Donelon promises to work toward creating a smooth transition for consumers as well as the insurance industry.  This will allow the Commissioner the opportunity to engage in the national insurance debate on a leadership level which will place Louisiana at the forefront in the study and development of insurance regulation.

Donelon led the effort to create the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program, which attracted five new companies to the Louisiana homeowners market and succeeded in reducing the total number of property and casualty policies in the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.  To date, 12 new-to-Louisiana companies are writing policies in the coastal areas of the state.  The commissioner also championed successful legislative initiatives that limit named-storm deductibles to one per hurricane season and increased the Louisiana Guaranty Association coverage protection to $500,000 per claim.

Commissioner Donelon joined the staff of the Louisiana Department of Insurance in 2001.  He became Acting Commissioner of Insurance in February 2006, and has since been elected twice to the position. A retired State Judge Advocate for the Louisiana Army National Guard, Donelon’s career at the Department of Insurance includes serving as both Chief Deputy Commissioner and Executive Counsel. He is also a former Parish Council Chairman for Jefferson Parish and a Louisiana State Representative where he chaired the House Committee on Insurance.
Citizens Tax Rebate for 2005 and 2006 expires
at the end of December 2010

Property owners are eligible for a state rebate for the Louisiana Citizens assessment on their current insurance policy as well as assessments dating back to 2005. It is not too late to secure the rebate on any of the assessments, and property owners do not have to wait until filing 2010 state taxes. 

To receive a rebate, file an amended tax return or complete the form for the Department of Revenue Louisiana Citizens Insurance Tax Credit for the year in which an assessment was paid. The form is found on the Department of Revenue website home page and also at the Department of Insurance website home page.  Include with this form a copy of the declaration page of your insurance policy that itemizes the assessment amount. Also, attach verification that you paid your insurance premium and mail these documents directly to the Department of Revenue.

The deadline for claiming any assessment paid in 2005 and/or 2006 is the end of December 2010.  Assessments paid in 2007 must be claimed by the end of 2011; assessments paid in 2008 must be claimed by the end of 2012; and assessments paid in 2009 must be claimed by the end of 2013.  It is wise to obtain the rebate as soon as you pay the assessment, or plan to claim the tax credit on your state income tax.

Premium Discounts - Building to Building Code and/or Damage Mitigation

Acts 2007, No. 323 mandated that insurers provide a premium discount to an insured who builds or retrofits a structure to comply with the State Uniform Construction Code utilizing construction techniques that reduce the amount of damage from a windstorm or hurricane.

Premium discounts apply to one-family-owner-occupied or two-family-owner-occupied homes and modular homes.  They do not apply to commercial properties or commercial residential properties with three or more units or to manufactured or mobile homes.  Discounts vary by company and are granted after the requirements on the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form have been met and the form has been properly documented and submitted to the company.
 
Improvements and/or construction techniques that may qualify:

  • Building design
  • Roof bracing
  • Secondary water barriers
  • Opening protection
  • Roof-to-wall strength
  • Roof deck attachment
  • Roof covering and roof covering performance
  • Wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength
  • Window, door and skylight strength
  • Other improvements and/or construction techniques that the insurer may determine to reduce the risk of loss due to wind
If you have constructed your property to comply with the State Uniform Construction Code and/or installed improvements to retrofit your property, you may be entitled to a considerable premium discount.  Contact your insurance company or company representative to get a Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form.  A requirement for completion is that an inspection and certification be performed by a building code enforcement officer, registered architect or engineer, or a registered third-party provider, authorized by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council.  For a list of registered third-party providers, visit www.dps.louisiana.gov/lsuccc or call (225) 922-0817.
EDITOR’S LETTER

OCA Newsletter Volume 1 – A Year in Review

The Office of Consumer Advocacy continues to strive to be a source for assistance with insurance questions and concerns.  Our hope is that this newsletter provides helpful information using uncomplicated explanations of insurance coverage, insight into how to handle the claims process, and suggestions on ways to save money on insurance coverage.
 
The OCA Newsletter has been emailed and posted on the Department of Insurance website each month since April 2010, and we are proud to have delivered nine months of insurance news and information.  Topics were originated from insurance headlines, requests from the public, and staff member interests.  Articles were written and edited by the entire OCA staff and supported by the other divisions of the Department of Insurance. If there is an insurance topic that you would like us to address, let us know.

Some of the topics covered in 2010 were:

  • Legislative updates
  • Mandatory automobile liability limit increase
  • Tax credits
  • Seasonal policy reviews
  • How and when to file a complaint
  • How and when to report insurance fraud
  • Flood insurance
  • Shopping for insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Specialty insurance

We hope the information has been educational, enlightening and informative.  We look forward to next year’s publications.

Click here to see all the previous issues of the Consumer Advocacy Newsletter.

Happy Holidays!
Office of Consumer Advocacy

Clarissa A. Preston, CIC, APIR                     Sharon C. Arnold
John A. Lamke, APIR                                 Bernadette Williams
Sherice D. Forté, APIR                              JoRel Johnson

Office of Consumer AdvocacyP.O. Box 94214Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214
(225) 219-0619 or (800)259-5300www.ldi.la.govconsumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov