Louisiana Department of Insurance Consumer Alert LDI Website James J. Donelon Follow us on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook
Volume 4, Issue 8

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
St. Elizabeth Hospital
Date: August 14, 2013
Time: TBA
Location: 1125 West Hwy. 30
Gonzales, LA 70737

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
Concordia Parish Library
Dates: August 15, 2013; August 28, 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: 1609 Third Street
Ferriday, LA 71334

Louisiana Property & Casualty Insurance Commission
Date: August 20, 2013
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Plaza Hearing Room, Poydras Building
1702 N. Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
Overton Brooks VAMC

Date: August 20, 2013; August 21, 2013
Time: 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Location: 510 East Stoner Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71101

Louisiana Health Care Commission (LHCC)
Date
: August 23, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Plaza Hearing Room, Poydras Building
1702 N. Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
Pennington Biomedical Research
Date: August 24, 2013
Time: 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: 6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Office of Consumer Advocacy
Wellness Workshop

Date: August 24, 2013
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church
9700 Scenic Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA

Office of Consumer Advocacy
Health Fair

Date: August 24, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Abundant Life Church
9900 Hayne Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126

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@ldi.la.gov

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter please send an email to the following address with "REMOVE FROM CONSUMER ADVOCACY MAILING LIST" in the subject line.
public@ldi.la.gov

Is Renters Insurance Right For Me?

Consumers who rent their homes often do not believe they need renters insurance, but could you afford to replace all of your belongings if they were lost in a fire, accident, natural disaster or theft?

If you rent a house or apartment that is damaged by fire and smoke, vandalism, wind and hail or water damage from plumbing problems, your landlord’s insurance would only protect the building and the landlord’s property. Your landlord’s policy would not protect any of your personal property from damage or theft.

Renters insurance can help to alleviate the financial and emotional burden associated with these tragedies.

Typically, renters insurance is not very expensive and is often available for as little as $100 a year and can provide the insured with security and peace of mind.  

There are two standard renter’s insurance policies: the Broad Form and the Comprehensive Form.

The Broad Form is the most commonly purchased type of renter’s policy.  It covers personal belongings against specific events, such as fire or theft. Typical coverage under this form includes damage from fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, vandalism, theft and water-related damage from property utilities.

The Comprehensive Form provides coverage for a range of events, unless specifically excluded by the policy. Considering the potential amount of coverage, the premiums for this policy may be higher.

When selecting the form the best fits your needs, it is important to consider location. If you live in an area prone to violent storms, such as hurricanes, consider purchasing a comprehensive policy that specifically addresses storm damage.

Like homeowners policies, renters policies do not provide protection from flooding. It is recommended that anyone who has a ground floor residence in Louisiana should consider buying a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For more information visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/

Renters policies normally pay only the actual cash value of your losses which is the cost of your property at the time of the claim with deprecation. Replacement coverage is available which reimburses you the full value of a newly purchased replace of your property. While the up-front cost for replacement coverage is greater, you are more likely to receive accurate compensation for your belongings.

If you have unusually expensive items like fine jewelry or antiques, you may want to consider adding a ‘rider’ to provide extra coverage. Your agent can help you determine if a rider is needed.

A college student’s personal belongings may still be covered under their parent’s policy assuming he or she is still listed as a dependent.  Check with your insurance company to see if your coverage extends to a dependent living away at school.

If you have non-relative roommates, it is best for all occupants to be on the same policy. However, it is possible for each occupant to purchase his or her own coverage. If you do decide to get insurance alone, remember that only you will receive the security of coverage.

Before you begin shopping around for the best policy for your needs consider performing a home inventory to determine the amount of coverage you need. For more on how to effectively complete a home inventory check out June’s Consumer Advocacy Newsletter here.

When you do begin shopping around, you should consider asking each agent about contents coverage, replacement value coverage, living expense coverage, liability and theft, deductibles, discounts and what exactly is and is not covered under each policy.

Simplifying Insurance

The Louisiana Department of Insurance recently released a new video series entitled “How Do I.” The series includes seven videos aimed at helping consumers navigate the often confusing world of insurance. The videos include:

Each video is between two and four minutes and provides a general overview of the topic as well as valuable resources for consumers.

The videos can be found on the department’s YouTube channel and website.

To receive future updates from the Department of Insurance such as newsletters and alerts subscribe to the LDI’s email notifications. You can fill out the request form here and customize the notifications you wish to receive.

All of the above resources provide consumers with valuable information and resources to stay up-to-date on the latest insurance information.

Proof of Auto Insurance - There's an App for that

The summer is a popular time for road trips and travel for Louisianans. With that in mind, it is important to make sure you have up-to-date proof of insurance in the event you were to get pulled over by a police officer during your trip. 

Did you know that Louisiana law (Act 512) states that if a driver cannot show proof of insurance their vehicle may be impounded? This act was passed during the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature and repeals the 2010 law that prohibited impounding a vehicle on the first offense.

But that doesn’t mean that you should panic if you happen to misplace the proof of insurance card that your auto insurer provides to you. That’s because thanks to Act 824, which was also passed during the 2012 Regular Session, Louisiana is now one of the more than two dozen states that allows electronic proof of insurance. This act took effect last August.

Insurance companies across the country have been providing their policyholders with free smartphone apps for nearly four years. With people becoming more and more dependent on the smartphones to access and store valuable information, this allows for much easier access and less stress for consumers.

Originals and copies of insurance cards and policies are still accepted as proof insurance. The act just extends consumers options to include insurance cards displayed on phones, tablets and other electronic devices.

If you plan to use an electronic device as your proof of insurance, it is important to familiarize yourself with this technology. You should ensure you have access to your electronic proof of insurance before you drive without your insurance card or policy.

Consumers will also benefit from having electronic copies of their policies that can be easily saved and maintained on a computer flash drive or electronic device and stored in a safe location. In the event of a fire, flood or natural disaster, consumers would have another way to access their policy in the event the physical copy of the policy was destroyed.

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