‘Don’t be intimidated’: You can’t lose insurance coverage for filing Ida claims, official says | News


Filing an insurance claim from Hurricane Ida or Tropical Storm Nicholas will not increase your premium or cause you to lose coverage, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said Thursday.

“You cannot be forfeited, have your premium increased, your deductible increased, or any of your coverages affected by virtue of filing a claim for loss due to force majeure,” such as a hurricane or tropical storm, Donelon said.

“Don’t be intimidated. Don’t hesitate to file for fear of being canceled or seeing your premiums go up,” the state’s top insurance regulator added at a virtual town hall hosted by The Times. -Picayune | The lawyer Thursday.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon Joins Times-Picayune | Advocate editor Peter Kovacs to answer readers’ questions about insurance in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

This does not mean that the premiums will not increase. Donelon said rates rise even in years without major hurricanes, and next year he expects premiums to rise about 5 to 6 percent. But this increase is not based on an insured filing a claim.

Donelon reiterated Thursday that Louisiana insurance companies must cover temporary living expenses for residents who fled the state’s southeast corner before Hurricane Ida, whether or not a mandatory evacuation was issued. However, the state’s largest home insurer, State Farm, continues to refuse.

Donelon said “at this point, [the ball] is in court at State Farm,” and said his office is awaiting a response from the company regarding their noncompliance. If they continue to disregard his order, Donelon said he could either suspend the license from State Farm, or fine them, which the company would likely challenge in court.

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Many Louisiana residents recovering from recent storms are learning that their insurance policies include what’s called a “named storm” deductible, which typically requires policyholders to pay between 2% and 5% out of pocket. of the value of their property before coverage takes effect.

Donelon urged the public to file a claim with his insurance company even if his damages are below that deductible. Indeed, the deductible applies throughout the hurricane season, which lasts until the end of November. If another storm causes additional damage, you could most likely exceed this deductible and get coverage.

A reader said she filed a claim with her insurance company after Hurricane Ida, but still hasn’t heard back. Donelon said he would “expect them to be in touch now.”

He said anyone facing problems with their insurance company should call the Department of Insurance at 800-259-5300 or file a complaint at www.ldi.la.gov.

The volume of calls in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida is “far exceeding” what the Insurance Department experienced last year after Hurricane Laura, Donelon said, adding that damage from the recent storm could rival those observed after Hurricane Katrina.

Having trouble with your insurance company in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas? Send your story to bpaterson@theadvocate.com and a reporter can contact you.


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