Commissioner Wooley Urges Louisiana Residents to "Get Even Smarter"
About Their Insurance Coverage
Released: January 6, 2006
In the wake of the 2005 hurricane season, more and more people are wondering exactly
what insurance they should have on their homes and automobiles. One of the many
things Hurricanes Katrina and Rita taught us is that we all need to know if we have
the right insurance in the right amounts. Thats why as part of the National
Association of Insurance Commissioner's (NAIC's) "Get Smart" program,
the Department of Insurance is encouraging consumers to "Get Even Smarter"
about their insurance coverage at the start of the new year.
Until something goes wrong, most of us are content just to know we have insurance,
even though we dont necessarily understand what all is covered in our policies,
Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley says. Not knowing exactly what is
in your insurance policies could leave you with the wrong insurance or less coverage
than you need when a loss occurs."
Commissioner Wooley says consumers who were not required by their mortgage lender
to purchase flood insurance when they bought their homes should not assume their
property won't be damaged due to flood. "Homeowners insurance doesn't cover
flooding, so a separate flood insurance policy must be purchased if you want that
coverage," the Commissioner warns. Consumers can also buy a flood insurance
contents policy to cover their furniture, clothing and other items that could be
lost if their home is flooded.
Excess flood insurance coverage is also available for homeowners needing more than
the NFIP flood policy limit of $250,000 on the home and $100,000 on contents. "For
coverage above $250,000/$100,000, contact your insurance agent or company and ask
about purchasing excess flood insurance on your home and on its contents through
a private insurance company," says Wooley.
Commissioner Wooley says other levels of coverage to look for in your homeowners
insurance policy include whether your home or your contents are insured for their
actual cash value, which is the replacement cost minus depreciation, or for the
replacement cost, which is the actual cost without deducting for depreciation.
Here are more ways to "Get Smart" about your insurance:
- Call the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300 or visit our Web site, www.ldi.state.la.us. Click on the "Get
Smart" icon for tips and up-to-date information about health, life, auto, home
or other insurance coverage.
- Schedule a routine check-up with your insurance providers at least once
a year. Inquire about the cost benefit of opting for higher deductibles. Ask specifically
about discounts for good driving records, good health, good grades and special education
- Shop around for identical products and services. Not every company charges the same
rate. Remember, an insurance policy is a legal document. Read it carefully.
The Department is not only your best source for all insurance-related questions,
but we also have the best understanding of the insurance issues specific to Louisiana,"
Commissioner Wooley adds.