Commissioner Donelon Activates Louisiana Department of Insurance Emergency Plan ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac
Louisiana Department of Insurance Offers Resources for Homeowners
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is urging residents to be prepared and vigilant as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to track towards the Louisiana coastline.
“There remains some uncertainty as to exactly where Isaac will ultimately make landfall, but I urge residents to take steps, if they haven’t already, to prepare for the potential impact of this storm,” said Commissioner Donelon. “I encourage everyone to monitor the news and weather reports and to be prepared to shelter in place or evacuate based on directions from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or your parish officials.”
Commissioner Donelon stated that the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s call center will be available to assist consumers with their insurance questions and concerns throughout the event. The toll-free number is 1-800-259-5300. Consumers can also submit questions via email to Isaac@ldi.la.gov.
The LDI has also implemented its Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). COOP is designed to ensure that the LDI will operate with minimal interruptions in the event of a disaster.
Preparations made by divisions of the LDI include the following:
Insurance Company Emergency Adjuster Registration program prepared in case claims adjusters need to be sent to disaster areas; online registration ready.
Call center ready to be activated by Property & Casualty Consumer Affairs Division.
Travel teams assigned and ready for dispatch to Disaster Recovery Centers statewide.
All insurance company contact information updated and ready to distribute to public and for call center staff.
Post-Disaster Insurance Guide information assembled and ready to distribute.
Employee Emergency Response System ready to instruct staff in case of office closure; all staff emergency communications equipment ready.
Remote site for meeting with insurance industry selected (England Air Park – Alexandria).
Remote site for LDI operations at England Air Park in Alexandria ready in the event Baton Rouge offices rendered uninhabitable.
Emergency insurance rules prepared.
Office supplies stocked and computer back up servers ready at remote locations.
COOP was created following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and establishes structure for the management of emergencies and disasters.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following insurance checklist:
- Know your coverages. Check with your agent (producer) to find out if there is a hurricane deductible written into your policy. For example, a two percent hurricane deductible would require you to pay up to two percent of the insured value of your home instead of the usual deductible you pay when you have other types of losses. Also be aware that companies stop writing property policies when storms approach the Gulf of Mexico.
- Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help in the event you must file an insurance claim.
- Store copies of all your insurance policies in a safe location away from your home that is easily accessible in case of disaster. You may want to store your policies and inventory in a waterproof, fireproof box or in a safe and remote location such as a bank safe deposit box. Consider leaving a copy of your inventory with relatives, friends, or your insurance provider and store digital pictures in your email or on a website for easy retrieval.
- Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store your valuables where they will not get damaged in a flood or take them with you when evacuating.
- Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for each of your insurance providers (agents).
Quick facts about Flood Insurance
- Homeowners policies DO NOT cover most flooding. You need a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home and belongings against flood damage.
- Your automobile insurance policies cover flooding if you have purchased comprehensive coverage. If you only have liability coverage, your vehicle is not covered for flooding.
- You can buy flood insurance, even if your home has been flooded before. However, there may be a 30-day delay before flooding is covered. See your insurance agent for details.
For more information on how to prepare for a storm and what steps to take following a severe weather event, please visit the Hurricane Resource Center on the LDI website www.ldi.la.gov.