Donelon orders insurance companies to pay evacuation expenses for Ida

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:09 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has ordered insurance companies to pay evacuation expenses for victims of Hurricane Ida.

Donelon previously asked insurance companies to grant short-term additional living expenses in parishes in which mandatory evacuation orders weren’t ordered. He said Sunday that Allstate, USAA, and PURE Insurance Company had agreed to do so.

However, Tuesday, Donelon said in a statement that he had “strengthened” the Department of Insurance’s regulatory action after State Farm “said it would not pay loss of use claims where no express civil authority order was in place.”

“Hurricane Ida was a clear and present danger to the citizens of Louisiana,” Commissioner Donelon said. “Officials throughout the region took to the airwaves to get the message out that people indeed needed to leave or to stay in a safe place. Insurers must treat the many diverse actions taken by public officials as tantamount to an order to leave and pay people who have coverage for those expenses as if a mandatory evacuation had been issued.”

Donelon made the order through Directive 218, which “requires insurers to pay claims for loss of use for policyholders who evacuated or were prohibited from using their premises because of the storm.”

The order applies to the 25 parishes in which an emergency declaration was issued.

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