1, Issue 2
Councilman Byron Lee
Sixth Annual Seniors
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
John A. Alario
2000 Bayou Segnette Blvd.
Baton Rouge Association of Health Underwriters
7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
LA State Archives Building
Baton Rouge, LA
Congressman Joseph Cao
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
University of New
Human Performance Center
2000 Lake Shore Drive
6:00 p.m. -
Jones Creek Reg. Library
6222 Jones Creek
Baton Rouge, LA
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
1729 Monte Sano Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS SALES TAX HOLIDAY
Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is Saturday, May 29 and
Sunday, May 30.
For more information, call the Louisiana
Department of Revenue, Public Affairs Division at (225)-219-2156 or
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
If you no longer wish to
receive this newsletter please send an email to the following
address with "REMOVE" in the subject line.
you need to get flood
Floods Can Happen Anywhere, Any Time;
Evaluate Your Need for Flood Insurance
Floods are consistently the most
common, costly and deadly natural disaster Americans face each
year—ninety percent of all natural disasters in the nation
involve flooding, and Louisiana residents cannot afford to
ignore this threat. As a matter of fact, the National Flood
Insurance Program (NFIP) statistics show that a home in a
high-risk area is three times more likely to be damaged by a
flood than to be damaged by a fire during a 30-year
Many people in Louisiana believe that
flooding is localized to coastal areas and low lying areas
designated as a "flood zone." However, there are many flood
risks to consider, including hurricanes, rapid accumulation of
rainfall, overflowing rivers and lakes, broken levees,
outdated or clogged drainage systems and building and
development, which can change the natural drainage creating
new flood risks.
History has shown the residents of
Louisiana that flooding can be quite costly. Losses caused by
flood are not covered in a standard homeowners, renters or
business insurance policy, and between 20 and 25 percent of
all flood insurance claims come from areas with a low risk for
flooding. According to the NFIP, even one inch of water
in a home can cause up to $7,800 in damage. The cost of
hardwood flooring, carpeting, and drywall is on the rise so,
imagine having to repair damages that your property policy
does not cover.
Currently only 29 percent of
Louisiana households have flood insurance. So before
you’re faced with rising water in your area, the Office of
Consumer Advocacy offers this information to help you get
smart about your flood insurance options.
Do not wait
until a storm is coming to purchase flood insurance. It
generally takes 30 days after purchase (or a change in the
policy) for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.
Contact your insurance producer to purchase flood insurance
now. “It is better to have it and not need it, than to
need it and not have it!"
and how to file a complaint|
“That’s not what they
“Can they do that?”
“What does that mean?
policy said that they should pay this!”
dealing with insurance issues, consumers often have many
unanswered questions. Even after reading a policy
or discussing a situation with a producer, a consumer may have
many unanswered questions. In some instances, consumers
may ask themselves: Should I file a complaint?
the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) can help you. The
LDI licenses and regulates insurance companies, producers,
adjusters, and brokers to operate in this state. If you
believe that one of these licensees hasn’t acted in accordance
with your policy provisions and the insurance laws
(regulations) of Louisiana, consider filing a
Since insurance language and state
regulations may not be familiar to most of us, we often don’t
know if we should file a complaint or
handle our concerns as an inquiry. The
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) defines
the terms as follows:
A complaint is any written communication that
expresses dissatisfaction with a specific person or entity
subject to regulation under the state’s insurance laws.
An oral communication, which is subsequently converted to a
written form, will meet the definition of a complaint for
An inquiry is any oral
or written communication that is not a complaint, such as a
request for general information or an expression of an
opinion regarding an insurance-related issue that may or may
not require a response by the department of
It is important to the
Louisiana Department of Insurance to properly record
complaints and inquiries because the number of complaints an
agency, producer or insurance company receives is typically
what a consumer wants to know before deciding to purchase
coverage. Additionally, complaints are filed with the National
Association of Insurance Commissioners and can affect an
insurance company's rating.
We encourage consumers to
try to resolve any concerns or complaints with a company or
producer before contacting us, but if you are unable to or
aren’t satisfied with the results, you may want to file an
You can file a complaint or make
an inquiry with the LDI online, by telephone or by mail. When
filing a complaint, make sure to provide all pertinent
information that will help us in the resolution of your
concern. The LDI will assign your complaint or inquiry to a
qualified representative to review. However, when filing
a complaint, remember that the LDI representative cannot do
- provide legal services that are sometimes needed to
settle a complicated problem;
- dispute an underwriting decision made in accordance with
an insurer’s underwriting guidelines;
- resolve a dispute that is a question of fact.
Once a complaint is filed, you will receive a case number.
When contacting the LDI to check the status of your case,
please refer to this number. The LDI representative will make
every effort to promptly and thoroughly research your claim
and work toward a fair resolution.
Past and Future Venues
The major functions of the Office of Consumer Advocacy
(OCA) are to act as a watchdog for consumers and ensure that
consumers understand their rights as policyholders.
The Office of Consumer Advocacy regularly takes
part in various speaking engagements in and around the state
of Louisiana to inform and educate Louisiana citizens about
the regulations of the insurance industry.
its creation in 2007, the OCA has had the opportunity to take
part in numerous events. Presentations have been made at
various organizations and locations such as Kiwanis and Rotary
Clubs, neighborhood development foundations, Council on Aging
Senior Centers and community meetings sponsored by LA
representatives, senators and local councils. The OCA
has served as a guest class lecturer at various Louisiana
universities, numerous churches and other civic organizations.
The topics of interest are as follows: the role
and function of each division within the Department of
Insurance, the Policyholder Bill of Rights, the availability
and affordability of insurance, catastrophe preparedness, the
claims handling process, deductibles, rate increases, and hot
topics such as tax incentives and mitigation discounts.
Understanding your insurance coverage can be a little
intimidating sometimes. Figuring out what coverage you
need, how to balance premium costs, what you should do after a
loss, and even what to do if you have a question or complaint,
is often challenging. These are some of the reasons the
Office of Consumer Advocacy (OCA) created this
newsletter. OCA strives to be the source you can turn to
for assistance; our goal is for this newsletter to provide
helpful information to empower you when making your insurance
This newsletter offers plain language
explanations of insurance coverage, insight into how to handle
the claims process and presents ways to help you save money on
your insurance coverage. Monthly outreach events are
highlighted in the left banner section of the
newsletter. Many of these outreach events allow you to
speak with an OCA staff member and get “one-on-one” assistance
with your insurance needs. “Hot topics” will also be
presented to inform you of changes in the industry and to keep
you on the lookout for actions that you may have to take as a
The OCA newsletter is e-blasted and
posted on the Department of Insurance website the first Monday
of each month. Be on the lookout for the latest edition,
and make sure to share it with your family and friends.
Clarissa A. Preston,
|Office of Consumer Advocacy
||P.O. Box 94214
||Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214|
|(225) 219-0619 or (800)259-5300