Volume 6, Issue 8
 August 2015


Our monthly newsletter addresses consumer insurance topics as well as timely information on issues affecting senior citizens in Louisiana.


To find out if Consumer Advocacy will be in your area or to request a speaker for your organization or group, call (225) 219-0619 or send an email to: consumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter please send an email to the following address with "REMOVE FROM CONSUMER ADVOCACY MAILING LIST" in the subject line: public@ldi.la.gov

Hurricane Katrina Summit Coming Soon

Are you more knowledgeable about your coverage since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? How has the insurance market changed over the last ten years? Join us as we discuss these questions and more at the State of Insurance Markets Ten Years Post-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Summit. The event will be held at the University of New Orleans on August 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Topics to be discussed include lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and how the storms impacted FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Department’s Chief Actuary will also present an analysis of what factors contribute to Louisiana’s property insurance rates.

The Department will also release a State of Insurance Markets report during the summit which details the effects of the two costly storms and provides insight on the extraordinary efforts that followed to help stabilize and strengthen Louisiana’s insurance market.

For more information, including registration details and agenda for the summit, please visit www.ldi.la.gov/katrinasummit.

Louisiana Policyholders Receive More than $2.3 Million after Seeking Help from LDI

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) is always available to assist policyholders who have questions about their coverage or who are not satisfied with the resolution of a claim. In the first six months of 2015, the LDI recovered an additional $2.37 million for insurance policyholders. The funds are the result of LDI staff working with insurance companies to resolve complaints and are in addition to the original amounts offered to consumers by their insurance companies.

If you have questions about a policy or feel that you may be entitled to an additional insurance settlement, we urge you to contact our consumer services staff to learn what your options may be. Consumers have many ways to connect with the department, including through the official website, phone or by visiting the LDI and meeting with an insurance specialist who can assist them. No appointment is needed and staff members are available between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Funds recovered are from formal complaints regarding life and annuities; property and casualty; and health products. Information on complaints and funds by insurance product is as follows:

Consumer Insurance Dispute Settlements (January 1 – June 30, 2015)

Insurance Product Complaints Filed Funds Recovered 
Life & Annuities 283 $1,673,878.32
Property & Casualty 792 $434,359.89
Health 632 $264,236.33
Total 1,707 $2,372,474.54

Insurance Considerations for Multigenerational Households

Sometimes the empty nest doesn't stay empty. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans living in multigenerational households has doubled since 1980. Baby boomers supporting their parents and their college graduates returning home are among the more than 50 million Americans living in multigenerational homes. Below are some tips from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to help you understand how to protect your family.

Household Considerations

When you experience a change in your household status, contact your insurer to inform them about the new arrangement. It may be a good time to shop around to make sure you’re getting the right coverage for the best price.

Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • How long does your family plan to live with you?
  • Are you charging rent?
  • Will they regularly drive your vehicle?

Homeowners Insurance Considerations

When a family member moves in, you should know what your homeowners policy covers in terms of limitations or even exclusions. Check with your insurer to see if you need extra coverage.

  • If a fire or theft were to occur, any resident's belongings are typically covered by a standard homeowners agreement. However, belongings are subject to limitations and, high-priced items like electronic equipment or jewelry may need extra coverage.
  • Consider if a pet might be joining your household. If your family member's dog gets out and bites the neighbor, you want to be sure your policy provides adequate liability coverage.
  • If you plan to charge rent, your family member may want to consider renter's insurance. Renter's insurance is typically inexpensive and covers the renter's property and liability up to policy limits. Keep in mind that dependents, such as college students, are automatically covered under their parent or guardian's policies.

Health Insurance Considerations

Under the Affordable Care Act, adult children up to age 26 can be covered by their parents' health insurance policies. However, you may want to shop around before adding adult children to your policy. It may be less expensive for a healthy young adult to obtain coverage on the open market than on the policy offered by your employer. If your adult child is older than 26, they'll need to look into an individual policy.

If an older relative moves in with you, and is over the age of 65, they may qualify for Medicare. For more information, contact the Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program at 1-800-259-5300 or online at www.ldi.la.gov/SHIIP.

Auto Insurance Considerations

Auto insurers are entitled to know who is living in your household and who drives your vehicles. If your family member drives, notify your auto insurance company. If the resident owns their own car, your insurer may simply want a copy of his or her auto policy for their personal vehicle.

If your family member does not own a vehicle, you may want to add them to your auto policy if they are a licensed driver. Depending on the person's age and driving history, this may impact your rates. If you neglect to inform your auto insurance company about drivers using your car, future claims could be denied and your policy could be canceled or not renewed due to misrepresentation of licensed household members.

Life Insurance Considerations

If you find your family dependent on you to provide for them, you should review your need for life insurance. To determine if you need coverage ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much of the family income do I provide?
  • If I were to die, how would my survivors – both children and parents – get by? 
  • How will my family pay final expenses and repay debts after my death? 
  • Will there be estate taxes to pay after my death?

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Office of Consumer Advocacy
(225) 219-0619 or (800) 259-5300

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214