July 11, 2019
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Check up on your insurance coverages. Named storm and hurricane deductibles typically run two to five percent of the insured property value. If a home has an insured value of $200,000 with a five percent hurricane deductible, the policyholder would pay $10,000 out of pocket before insurance coverage took effect.
Get flood insurance. Flood damage resulting from heavy rain or storm surge is excluded from most policies and there is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. For information on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, you can contact your agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov. You can search for an agent on the LDI website www.ldi.la.gov/findagent.
Update your home inventory. You can use your phone to take pictures or video of the items in your home. Having a record of your possessions will make the claims process easier in the event of property damage or loss. Include identifying information such as brand name and serial number.
Have copies of your policies and your agent’s contact information ready to go. In case of an emergency evacuation, you will want to have copies of your family’s essential documents and your agent’s contact information to enable you to start the claims process as soon as possible.
One strategy that coastal insurers have adopted to limit their exposure is the use of wind and hail; named storm; and hurricane deductibles. At least 19 states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles. Insurers use percentage deductibles that are based on a home value - so if a home is insured for $200,000 and has a five percent deductible, the first $10,000 must be paid out of pocket by the policyholder. Details of these deductibles are listed on the declarations page of a policy.
About Flood Insurance
Since flood damage is not covered under homeowners policies, purchasing a separate flood insurance policy can help homeowners and commercial interests protect their homes and businesses. Flood insurance is protection for specific flood events for your home or business. Louisiana consumers can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), private insurers and surplus lines insurers. Flood insurance is most often required for homeowners and business owners in high-risk areas who have a mortgage through a federally regulated or insured lender. Those living in moderate or low risk areas should still consider purchasing flood insurance and may be eligible for a reduced rate. A standard-rated policy offers separate building and contents coverage. Since flood damage is not covered under homeowners policies, purchasing a separate flood insurance policy can help homeowners and commercial interests protect their homes and businesses. Although the LDI can answer basic questions about flood insurance, the Department does not regulate the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), approve its rates or changes or have any authority over the program. However, the LDI does monitor how these changes impact policyholders in the state.
LDI flood insurance webpage.