Commissioner Wooley Urges Louisianians to be Prepared This Hurricane
Released: May 31, 2005
Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley reminds us that hurricane season is here
and any unfinished hurricane preparation needs to happen now. The Atlantic Storm
Season runs from June 1 through November.
According to Wooley, government forecasters predict a hurricane season that is at
least as active as last years storm-filled one. Louisiana was pretty
lucky last year, Wooley said, but we have no guarantee that our good
fortune will hold this time around.
Our first line of defense on the insurance front is to check on all our property
insurance coverage right away. If you dont have a flood insurance policy,
thats probably the coverage you should consider first, Wooley said.
During a hurricane, flooding is a greater threat than wind is, although we tend
to focus on the wind. Both Homeland Security and FEMA remind us that one of our
greatest needs this hurricane season is to make homeowners, renters and business
owners more aware of the danger from flooding. That means that, wherever you live
in the state, the chances are very good that much of your damage will not be covered
under your homeowners or other property insurance policy. It is also important to
remember that you may have to wait for up to 30 days for a new flood insurance policy
to take effect. Your local insurance producer or other insurance representative
can sell you a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy or put you in touch
with someone who can.
Wooley also points out that many companies halt the sale of property insurance in
areas along the coast once a hurricane or tropical storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
Today is the day you need to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage
on all fronts, and that includes knowing whether you have a hurricane deductible
on your policy, Wooley added. Your insurance company notified you if a hurricane
deductible was added to your policy, but we dont always read everything we
get in the mail. If a hurricane deductible has been added to your policy, it could
mean that your usual $500 or $1,000 deductible will be thousands of dollars if you
have a hurricane-related loss. If you find that you do have a hurricane deductible,
contact your producer or other insurance company representative if you are interested
in paying more in order to have your regular deductible apply to a hurricane-related
Consumers wanting free copies of Department of Insurance storm brochures, including
a hurricane tracking chart and attached tips on storm preparation, can call us toll
free, statewide, at 1-800-259-5300, or view and download them from our Web site, www.ldi.state.la.us.