BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is reminding Louisiana insurance policyholders to get ready as we enter the peak of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season and increased its predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes.
"While we typically see tropical activity peak during these next two months, the widespread flooding Baton Rouge and Lafayette experienced a year ago and the recent flooding in New Orleans proves it does not take a named storm to cause significant damage," said Commissioner Donelon. "All too often we hear from policyholders who were not prepared for a storm – whether they lacked flood insurance or were not aware of the amount of their storm deductible. Reviewing your policies now is one way to avoid an unwelcome surprise after a claim event."
Louisiana National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders impacted by the August 2016 flood event in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas are reminded to file their NFIP Proof of Loss or Supplemental Proof of Loss by the upcoming September 1 deadline. The Proof of Loss is a sworn statement of the amount a policyholder is claiming including necessary supporting documentation and is required for a supplemental claim, even if a timely initial Proof of Loss has been filed.
As of today, the NFIP has paid nearly 30,000 claims totaling more than $2.4 million for that flood event.
As a result of last August's flood, the Louisiana Department of Insurance introduced legislation during the 2017 legislative session to provide policyholders with additional consumer protections.
Many policyholders impacted by the August 2016 flood could not live in their homes but were paying for personal property coverage they no longer needed. Act 219 provides an option for policyholders to exclude personal property coverage from their policies following a declared disaster. An insurance company is required to make this exclusion option available upon written request of a policyholder. A similar consumer protection was enacted by the Legislature following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita but it now applies to any parish declared a disaster by the governor or president.