Louisiana Department of Insurance Consumer Alert LDI Website James J. Donelon Follow us on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook
Volume 4, Issue 5

Medicare 101 – Shreveport
Date
: May 9, 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: CHRISTUS Schumpert St. Mary Place Auditorium
One St. Mary Place

Senior Fest University of New Orleans
Date
: May 10, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: 2000 Lakeshore Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70148

SHIIP Volunteer Training - New Horizons ILC
Date
: May 21, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: 8508 Line Ave. Suite D
Shreveport, LA 71106

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

Tips to Become a Savvy Shopper

Shopping around for or purchasing a new auto or homeowners insurance policy can prove to be a daunting task if you’re not equipped with the right information. Knowing what type of policy to buy, the different types of coverages available and what questions to ask an insurer can not only help you get the right amount of coverage you need, but also give you greater understanding of your policy and what it does and does not cover.

Below are some helpful hints to assist you in becoming a more informed shopper when looking to purchase a new homeowners or auto insurance policy.

What type of policy should I buy?
Knowing what type of policy to buy can be tricky. Because everyone has different needs, you’ll find that no two policies will be exactly alike. Evaluate your insurance needs to determine what type of auto or homeowners policy you need to buy. Be thorough in your search and use the same time and care in choosing the right type of policy as you did when you chose the home or car you’re attempting to insure.

What are the different types of auto and homeowners coverages?
Auto insurance policies are made up of different types of coverages. Drivers in Louisiana are required by law to carry liability coverage on any car they own. When shopping for an auto policy, one of the first questions an insurer may ask is which coverages you’re interested in purchasing. Remember, there’s no such thing as “full coverage.”

For a list of the most common auto insurance coverages and a brief description of what each does, click here or go to www.ldi.la.gov/consumers/AutoCoverages. To view the different types of homeowners coverages, click here or go to www.ldi.la.gov/consumers/HomeownersCoverages.

What questions should I ask?
An insurer will ask you many questions when deciding how much your insurance premium should be. You should also be prepared with your own list of questions to ask your insurer to make sure they are a right fit for you. Some sample questions are:

Auto

  • What coverages am I required to carry?
  • Do I need comprehensive and collision coverage?
  • How much should my deductibles be?
  • Am I covered if a friend drive’s my car?
  • Can I choose what body shop repairs my car?
  • What discounts can you offer me?

Homeowners

  • What does this policy cover?
  • What is the liability coverage?
  • What specialty coverages do I need to protect myself from disasters?
  • How do I file a claim?
  • How much are my deductibles?
  • Is there a wind & hail deductible?

Whether you’re looking to purchasing your first policy or shopping around for a better a discount, be sure to check out the LDI’s online comparison “Shop Your Rates.” This tool can used as a great starting point for consumers to compare the different auto and homeowners rates in their areas. Consumers can also check out the department’s new Auto and Homeowners resources page for more information on how to become a savvy insurance shopper.

Louisiana Health Care Commission 2013 Health Care Conference

Get the latest info on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care trends by checking out the information presented at the 2013 Annual Health Conference, now available on the Louisiana Department of Insurance website.

Last month, the LDI hosted the 16th annual health conference in Baton Rouge. The event kicked off with welcoming addresses and introductions from Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Louisiana Health Care Commission Chairwoman Donna D. Fraiche. Guest speakers for the event included several state and national health care professionals and leaders who delivered presentations on different health care topics affecting society, including an update on Louisiana’s public health care system from Department of Health and Hospitals Policy Advisor Calder Lynch, and a federal health care reform update from Brian Webb, Health Policy and Legislation Manager of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Conference attendants also listened to a panel discussion on Louisiana’s insurance market featuring leaders from four of the state’s major private insurers. Louisiana State Senator Jonathan Perry served as keynote speaker of the conference.

To view conference materials, including video highlights and PowerPoint presentations, click here.

What College Students Need to Know About Insurance

Let’s face it, insurance is the last thing you have on your mind when heading off to college. Until now your parents have probably handled all of your insurance decisions. Even if they still do, it’s a good idea for you to understand what your coverages are in the event of an accident or loss. Below are some quick tips and information about the basic types of insurance every college student should before heading off to college.

Renter’s Insurance – Renter’s insurance covers the items in your apartment or dorm room such as a computer, television or furniture in the event it is stolen, damaged or destroyed. It also covers your personal property that may be stolen from your car or backpack and insures you in case someone is injured while on your property.

If you live off-campus in an apartment or shared home, keep in mind that your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property if it is stolen or damaged, making it even more important to purchase a renter’s insurance policy. For student’s living on-campus, it’s likely that your parent’s homeowners insurance policy covers your personal belongings as well. However, there may be limits on what is covered so be sure to inform your parents and insurance agent of any big ticket purchases to guarantee you’re adequately covered.

Health Insurance – As much as we may try to fight the inevitable, we all get sick at one point or another. Fortunately, there are plenty of health insurance options for students such as coverage through your job, a student health policy or simply going to the school clinic.

Many students choose to stay covered on their parent’s insurance policy under a law created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which states that any insurance plan that offers dependent coverage must make that coverage available until the dependent reaches age 26.

Whatever coverage route you decide to take, always remember to keep the following documents with you:

  • Insurance Card
  • List of In-Network Doctors/Hospitals
  • List of Covered Pharmacies

Auto Insurance – If you plan on having a car while attending college, it’s important to remember that most states require drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of liability insurance. Liability insurance pays for damages and injuries to someone else if you are found at-fault in an auto accident. If you pay a monthly car note on your automobile, keep in mind that your auto lender may also require you to carry collision and comprehensive insurance

If your name is on the title for the car, you’ll be required to purchase your own auto policy. However, if your parents own the car you’ll be driving, you may be able to remain on their policy. Be sure to notify your insurance agent of the address where the vehicle will be stored. If you’ll be attending college out of state, remember to check the new state’s minimum coverage requirements to ensure you comply.

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