Louisiana Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Advocay
Volume 4, Issue 1
January 2013

Events Calendar

Louisiana Health Care Commission (LHCC)
Date: January 25, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Plaza Hearing Room, Poydras Building

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.state.la.us

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

Protect Your Possessions, Create a Home Inventory

Now that the holidays have passed, it’s time to protect your new gizmos and gadgets by creating a home inventory. Creating a home inventory is a great and simple way to keep track of what you own and how much it is worth, making it easier to file an insurance claim should a disaster strike. A home inventory can also be utilized when deciding on the right amount of insurance you need to purchase to ensure you are sufficiently protected.

Recent research presented by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) suggests that more than half of consumers have not created a home inventory. Additionally, nearly 60 percent of consumers with a home inventory have not updated their inventories in over a year.

The NAIC offers a quick and easy way for consumers to create a home inventory. Available for free to iPhone or Android smartphone users, myHOME Scr.APP.book allows you to quickly photograph your possessions, as well as record descriptions and serial numbers right to your smartphone. The app also allows you to group your belongings by room and/or category, making it easier to find and update items in your inventory. Once your inventory is complete, the app allows you to email a backup copy for safekeeping.

A completed home inventory will help you prepare for and recover from a disaster or theft to your home. Remember to always keep your inventory updated and contact your insurer to confirm your new purchases are covered in your policy.

To download the myHOME scr.APP.book from iTunes, click here.
To download the myHOME scr.APP.book from the Android Market, click here.
To download a home inventory checklist, click here.

After a Winter Storm

Residents across our state are often faced with the threat of a severe weather storm. From hurricanes and floods, to tornadoes and strong winds, folks encounter the possibility of severe weather storms forming each year. And now that the winter season has officially begun, the possibility of severe weather in the form of hail, ice, and even snow storms threaten our state.

Although we know there’s no way to prevent these storms from occurring, there are ways to help speed the recovery time after the storm has passed. The LDI is offering the following tips to Louisiana consumers after a storm.

  • Contact your insurance company or producer/agent as soon as possible.
  • Protect your property from further damage. Cover any broken windows to your home and/or car to prevent water damage to the interior.
  • Before your insurance producer arrives, make a list and take pictures of any damage to your property and its contents. This will make the producer’s work easier and help settle your claim sooner.
  • Be sure to keep all receipts for purchases to submit to your insurer.
  • Do not make permanent repairs until you are authorized to do so by your insurance adjuster.
  • Be wary of fraudulent contractors and insurance producer imposters. Many fraudsters use the time following a storm to prey on victims of the storm. It’s best practice to always ask for identification if you are unfamiliar with a producer or contractor.

Some homeowner policies may not cover wind and hail damage. Check with your insurer to see if your policy covers damages from hail and other winter related storms.

For more information and tips on what to do after a storm, visit the LDI website www.ldi.la.gov

“Shop Your Rates”

Looking for the best rates for your homeowners or automobile insurance? The LDI recently launched its new interactive Homeowners and Automobile Insurance Rate Comparison Guides designed to help Louisiana consumers find the best rates when selecting an insurance provider for their home or automobile.

“Shop Your Rates” allows consumers to choose from different scenarios and variables, such as a home’s age and value or a driver’s age and driving history, and offers samples of rate quotes for insurance providers in a selected city. 

Keep in mind that the examples presented in the comparison guides are not designed to match an individual’s particular circumstance. “Shop Your Rates” was designed to give consumers the upper hand when searching for an insurance provider by illustrating the comparative differences between companies in a selected city.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon suggests that instead of choosing a company solely based on the lowest premium, consumers should also look at other factors such as whether a company is financially sound and has a history of providing good quality service. You can contact the LDI to find out if any complaints have been filed against the company or producer (agent) you are considering.   

For more information on the “Shop Your Rates” Homeowners and Automobile Rate Comparison Guides, contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300. Or visit the department’s website, www.ldi.la.gov

Did You Know?

Car thieves don’t take holidays. Although vehicle theft has been on a nationwide decline in recent years, car thieves continue to present a real danger to society. A report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that more than 20,000 vehicles were reported stolen nationwide on 11 holidays in 2011.
The most active holidays for vehicle theft in 2011 were:

  1. Halloween (2,328)
  2. New Year’s Day (2,286)
  3. Memorial Day (2,005)
  4. Labor Day (1,977)
  5. New Year’s Eve (1,947)
  6. Valentine’s Day (1,895)
  7. Independence Day (1,862)
  8. President’s Day (1,830)
  9. Christmas Eve (1,797)
  10. Thanksgiving (1,526)
  11. Christmas Day (1,347)

Professional car thieves have the ability to steal any car, but don’t make it easy for them. Help prevent vehicle theft by:

  • Removing your keys from the ignition.
  • Locking your doors and closing your windows.
  • Parking in well-lit areas.
  • Installing an audible alarm.
  • Purchasing a steering wheel/brake pedal lock.
  • Equipping your vehicle with a tracking system.
Office of Consumer AdvocacyP.O. Box 94214Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214
(225) 219-0619 or (800)259-5300www.ldi.la.govconsumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov