Louisiana Department of Insurance Consumer Alert LDI Website James J. Donelon Follow us on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook

Volume 4, Issue 2
February 2013

St. James Parish Government Dept. of H.R.
Home Buyer Class
Date: February 5, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: 5153 Canatella St. Convent, LA 70723

Neighborhood Development Foundation
Home Buyer Class
Date: February 28, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: 1429 S. Rampart New Orleans, LA

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.state.la.us

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

Hurricane Isaac FEMA claim deadline extended

On January 22, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a statement extending the deadline for Louisiana residents to file claims for Hurricane Isaac flood-related losses for an additional 30 days. The new deadline to submit a claim is February 21.

This marks the third time the deadline has been extended. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by FEMA, usually requires claims to be filed within 60 days from the date of loss. The new extension granted to Louisiana flood insurance policy-holders brings that count up to 180.

To view the complete statement released by FEMA, click here.

Time to get your insurance in order

Now that the holidays are behind us, this is the perfect time to evaluate your new health insurance coverages. Many families in Louisiana recently went through the open enrollment process for their health insurance at work or Medicare Open Enrollment, which means that you may have new insurance cards and paperwork coming in the mail. It is a good idea to get all this information together before winter illness or accidents happen.

In-network or preferred provider lists have a tendency to change each year so it’s best to check your new provider lists to ensure that any visits to your doctor and any specialists are still covered by your policy. Also read through your documents and make note of your copays for in-network and out-of-network providers so you are not surprised later.

As many families tend to travel away from home during the winter months, remember to check with your insurance carrier to identify urgent care centers and hospitals that accept your insurance coverage near your destination and along the way. Be sure to ask your carrier about applicable co-pays and deductibles if care is needed.

Contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300 if you need assistance understanding your new policy. Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) Counselors can also help with understanding changes to your Medicare policy.

Here to help…

Did your loved one have a life insurance policy, but you didn’t have a copy? Are you lost and confused about what to do because you don’t even know the name of the insurance company? The Louisiana Department of Insurance is here to help.

Consumers may not be sure about where to begin when searching for lost life insurance policies. The LDI suggests exploring the following routes that may yield some results:

  • The former employer of the deceased may have information on group life coverage.
  • In some cases, financial institutions (banks, credit unions, etc.) offer term insurance coverage to their patrons.
  • Personal documents such as checks written as payment of life insurance premiums may produce leads to insurance policies.
  • Group entities such as fraternal organizations, professional membership groups, unions and others may make life insurance available to their members.

If these avenues don’t yield satisfactory results, you may submit a search request through the LDI.

The LDI maintains a database containing electronic contact information for all life insurance companies that have policies in force in Louisiana. Immediate family members of the deceased may file an Insurance Company Contact Request form with the Department of Insurance.

The search request form can be submitted electronically via the web or downloaded, printed and mailed to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, Division of Life and Annuities. In order to complete the form, you will need to provide the name, date of birth, Social Security Number and the last known address of the deceased. A copy of the death certificate will also need to be attached to the form.

*It is important to note that the electronic search request process is not applicable to policies purchased outside Louisiana. 

Prevent frozen pipes

Water damage is one of the most costly and common types of homeowner’s insurance claims in the United States. When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, the cold weather can cause the water in your pipes to freeze and lead to pipes bursting.

Damage from frozen or busted pipes is more than a simple inconvenience. An eighth-inch crack in a water pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water per day causing damage to furniture, appliances and other personal items. Furthermore, the flooding as a result of the damaged pipes can lead to other problems such as mold and rotten floorboards.

Although standard homeowners’ insurance policies cover water damage from pipe bursts, it’s best to avoid the hassle of repairs altogether by following these prevention tips. Louisiana may not be known for frigid temperatures, but as the old adage goes, “better safe than sorry.”

  • Protect at risk pipes with rags and/or insulation sleeves to protect them from the cold weather.
  • Disconnect sprinkler systems and garden hoses.
  • Open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Leave your heater on when leaving the house and never allow the temperature to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Turn on faucets to allow drops of water to flow.
  • Keep garage doors closed if they house water supply lines.
  • Locate and learn how to use the water supply shut-off valve in case of an emergency.
Office of Consumer AdvocacyP.O. Box 94214Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214
(225) 219-0619 or (800)259-5300www.ldi.la.govconsumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov