Insurance companies cannot alter premiums due to severe weather damage

Insurance companies cannot alter premiums due to severe weather damage
An aerial view of tornado damage in Ruston, LA.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) said insurance companies cannot cancel, refuse to renew, or increase the amount of a premium on a homeowners policy based solely on damage caused by severe weather.

Any customer who believes their insurance company is not properly handling a claim is encouraged to file a complaint by clicking the link here.

Louisiana has seen no shortage of severe weather in April of 2019. The latest includes severe tornado damage in Ruston, for which Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency which will remain in effect until May 25.

“Know that storms are considered ‘Acts of God’ or ‘Acts of Nature,’" said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “Check your homeowners and business insurance policies for coverage limits and deductibles and remember our staff is available to help if you have questions about your policy or filing a claim."

The LDI has the following tips for those recovering from storms:

  • Contact your agent or insurance company promptly if you determine you need to file a claim.
  • If you have lost your agent or insurance company’s contact information, the Louisiana Department of Insurance may be able to help you locate it. Contact the department at Call 1-800-259-5300 or visit www.ldi.la.gov.
  • Take pictures of any damage and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp or other materials. Further damage will likely not be covered by your insurance policy.
  • Keep the receipts for materials you buy and for any expenses related to damage to your home.
  • Do not make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage.
  • Renters should remember a landlord’s insurance policy will cover the actual building not a tenant’s personal belongings. A renters insurance policy protects your personal possessions if they’re damaged or destroyed.

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