Volume 7, Issue 9 September 2016


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

Upcoming Events

Consumer Advocacy Tour: 10th Annual Housing, Health and Home Improvement Fair

Date: September 24, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Location: Dillard University
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, LA

LDI On the Road: ULM Fall Career Fair

Date: September 28, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Location: University of Louisiana- Monroe
Student Union Building
700 University Avenue
Monroe, LA

LDI On the Road: 2016 Men's Health Conference

Date: October 1, 2016
Time: 7:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Location: Pennington Biomedical Center
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Automobile Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority Conference

Date: October 12, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge Hotel
4728 Constitution Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA


View Louisiana's Open Meetings Law on the legislative website by clicking here.


Before a Storm: Understand Your Policies and Coverage

While you’re trying to recover from the flooding disaster, remember it’s the peak of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Flood Insurance. As many homeowners found out recently, flooding is not covered by a typical homeowners or renter’s insurance policy.  You can purchase a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. Remember it takes 30 days after purchase for the policy to go into effect.

Hurricane and storm deductibles. Generally, windstorm damage is covered under your standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies with a separate wind and hail, named-storm or hurricane deductible which usually ranges from two percent to five percent of the insured property value. If your home has an insured value of $200,000 with a five percent deductible, you would be required to pay $10,000 out of pocket before insurance kicks in. You can find the amount of your deductible on the declarations page of the policy.

Debris Removal. Check your policy, as most will not cover damage to trees or landscaping on your property. Talk with your agent your policy may include a debris clean-up allowance.

Sewer Backup Coverage. Ask your insurance agent if an endorsement for sewer backup coverage was added to your homeowner’s policy. If so, your losses may be covered if water damage was caused by sewer lines backing up.

Prescription bottle for newsletter

Getting Your Medicare Prescriptions Post Disaster

Medicare recipients are able to use their benefits in a disaster area. If you’re evacuated from your home and have Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) and in need of medications contact your Medicare drug plan to find a nearby network pharmacy. An out-of-network pharmacy may be able to provide medications but you may pay more.

If you’re planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time, get an extended-day supply of your prescriptions. Your Medicare drug plan will let you know which pharmacies offer extended supplies.

Our Senior Health Insurance Information Program staff can help to answer your Medicare questions.



Flood high water sign


After the Flood: Frequently Asked Questions

Will my homeowners policy cover my contents in the event of a flood, fire, or hurricane?
A standard homeowners policy will not cover damage caused by flooding. A homeowner would need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for information.
Review your homeowners policy for the limits of your coverage and to check your deductibles. A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. It’s important to understand how a claim will be paid if you have a loss. There is a difference in how a claim will be paid if a policy covers your home or personal property for its actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). Actual Cash Value is the value of your home or personal property considering its age and wear and tear. Replacement cost value (RCV) is the cost to rebuild your home or repair damages using materials of a like kind and quality.

My home was impacted by the recent flood but my neighborhood is not in a flood zone. Should I still consider flood insurance?
Flood insurance is one of the most important insurance needs. More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas. Contact the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 to purchase a policy.

What is the difference between contents coverage and structure coverage in a flood insurance policy?
Some mortgages will only require you to purchase flood insurance for the structure.
Structure insurance will cover items attached to a building or structure. This may include flooring and cabinets. Contents coverage will cover items inside a structure like your personal belongings, furniture and some appliances. 

Can I buy back a vehicle from my insurance company that was declared a total loss?
No. Under many circumstances, you may be able to buy back a vehicle that’s been declared a total loss by your insurance company. You would receive a salvage title from the Office of Motor Vehicles. However, under state law, if your vehicle has been declared a total loss because it has flooded, you cannot buy it back. Instead, according to RS 32:707.3the insurance company has to send the certificate of title to the Office of Motor Vehicles along with an application for a Certificate of Destruction. Vehicles that have been issued a Certificate of Destruction cannot be resold.

What are some tips that can help homeowners avoid fraud following a disaster?
Keep an eye out for inspectors claiming to represent FEMA or other agencies. Always ask for identification and remember a representative will not ask for a payment. Click here for more tips.

If you’re in a disaster area and have more questions about the recovery process see more of our Frequently Asked Questions.


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

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214