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MONTHLY REPORT
Volume 13, Issue 5
May 2013


Members

Commissioner Jim Donelon
Theodore "Ted" Haik, Jr., Chair
Jeff Albright, Vice Chair

Raymond J. Aleman, Sr.
Lee Ann Alexander
J.E. Brignac, Jr.
Paul Buffone
Stephen F. Campbell
Anne Cassity
Sheriff Greg Champagne
Representative Greg Cromer

Manuel DePascual (Alternate)
Louis G. Fey, Jr.
Michael Guy
Lance "Wes" Hataway
Ron Henderson
Senator Eric LaFleur
Scott Landry
LTC John A. LeBlanc
Ann Metrailer (Alternate)
Robert Moorman
Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish
Chris Roy, Jr.
Representative Kirk Talbot
Earl Taylor


Staff


Terrell B. Moss, Director

David Evans,
Supervisor/Research Analyst

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2013 Regular Session – P&C Bills of Interest

The 2013 Regular Session of the Legislature that convened on April 8th is approaching its June 6th close. Here are a few of the bills that were introduced that concern workers’ compensation and homeowner’s insurance.

HB 410 – as proposed, extends the Workers’ Compensation Second Injury Fund sunset deadlines enacted in 2010 by five years. As amended on the Senate floor, repeals sunset of the Second Injury Fund. 5/29: Scheduled for House concurrence on 6/2.

HB 450 – provides for an associate medical director to aid the medical director in rendering decisions on workers’ compensation medical treatment disputes, provides for conflicts of interest, and provides for determination of treatment when not specified in the medical treatment schedule. 5/31: Pending Senate final passage.

HB 550 – creates the My Safe Louisiana Home Program within the Louisiana Housing Corporation and provides a minimum $1 million in funding for the program from the unclaimed Louisiana Citizens’ assessment tax rebates. The program would provide free retrofit inspections of single-family homes throughout the state and grants of up to $10,000 to Louisiana Citizens’ insured homeowners in 10 coastal parishes to retrofit their homes all for the purpose of mitigating hurricane damage. 5/13: Considered by House Appropriations.

HB 728 – provides for workers’ compensation disputes over choice of physician, submission to medical examination, and vocational rehabilitation and establishes the procedure to be followed when compensation or medical benefits are suspended or otherwise modified. 5/31: Pending Senate final passage.

SB 12 – grants a refundable individual state income tax credit for up to $600 of deposits made in a tax year to a Wind and Hail Deductible Savings Account, from which the account holder could be reimbursed for damages not covered due to his homeowner’s insurance policy deductible. 4/22: Considered by Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs.

SB 261 – provides for the duties of an associate medical director to aid the medical director in rendering decisions on workers’ compensation medical treatment disputes, including conflicts of interest and provides a standard for “medically necessary evaluation management visits” and its application to disputes over the number of physical therapy treatments. 5/30: Considered by House Labor and Industrial Relations.


Spring Cleaning and Home Maintenance Help Avoid HO Claims

Have you been doing some spring cleaning in and around your home? While your efforts are probably self-motivated or urged by your good and thoughtful spouse, insurance companies have an interest, too. A well maintained home is less likely to incur a homeowner’s insurance claim.

Here are a few of the spring cleaning tips that promote loss prevention from those posted by insurers, agencies, and insurance departments on their websites:

  • Kitchen fires – The majority of fire losses originate in the kitchen. Clean the built-up grease from the stove and the crumbs from the toaster.
  • Appliance fires – As part of appliance maintenance, clean lint build up behind your dryer that can accumulate from a poorly connected hose.
  • Water damage from leaks – Check the attic for leaks from the roof. Check for worn washing machine hoses and for toilet, sink, washing machine, and ice maker leaks at valve connections and lines. According to several sources, the average life of a water heater is 8-12 years. Check the base for leaks or rust.
  • Fire detection – Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test each unit to make sure it is working properly. Check the expiration date and charge of each fire extinguisher.
  • Outside – Clean gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris so that they drain properly. Trim dead or diseased limbs from trees, especially those overhanging your home.

Also, as you clean and organize your possessions, it is a good time to update your home inventory. You will want this list to be current and accurate should you suffer a loss and have to file a homeowner’s insurance claim. 

How Well Do You Know Your Auto Policy?

If you own a motor vehicle in Louisiana, then you probably comply with the compulsory liability security laws by purchasing an insurance policy. If you are financing the purchase of your vehicle, then a condition of the loan is more extensive insurance coverage. But just how well do you know your policy?

For something that we drivers invest in every six months and rely on to meet our legal and contractual ownership obligations, as well as to protect our investment in the vehicle and general assets, we probably do not know as much as we think. Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 500 drivers earlier this year that included ten multiple choice questions on car insurance basics. The average score was a discomforting 32 percent.

Here are the ten questions as posed (with the percentage who answered correctly during the survey in parenthesis):

  1. What does auto liability insurance pay for? (26%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Damage to my car if I crash it.  b) Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree.  c) Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer.  d) Damage to my car from a flood.  e) Property damage to others if I cause a crash.  f) Injuries to passengers in my own car.  g) Theft of my car.

  2. What does collision coverage pay for? (23%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Damage to my car if I crash it.  b) Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree.  c) Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer.  d) Damage to my car from a flood.  e) Property damage to others if I cause a crash.  f) Injuries to passengers in my own car.  g) Theft of my car.

  3. What does comprehensive coverage pay for? (2%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Damage to my car if I crash it.  b) Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree.  c) Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer.  d) Damage to my car from a flood.  e) Property damage to others if I cause a crash.  f) Injuries to passengers in my own car.  g) Theft of my car.

  4. What does Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage pay for? (69%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Damage to my car if I crash it.  b) Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree.  c) Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer.  d) Damage to my car from a flood.  e) Property damage to others if I cause a crash.  f) Injuries to passengers in my own car.  g) Theft of my car.

  5. What does uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pay for? (14%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Claims you make even if you have been late paying your premium.  b) Car damage to someone you hit who doesn’t have insurance.  c) Bodily injury to you and your passengers if your car is hit by someone without insurance.  d) Bodily injury to you and your passengers if your car is hit by a hit-and-run driver.

  6. If your car is totaled, what does gap insurance pay for? (55%)
    Select one:  a) The difference between the “actual cash value” of the vehicle and the amount owed on a car loan.  b) The difference between the “actual cash value” of the vehicle and the amount you paid for the car.  c) The difference between the amount owed on a car loan and the amount you paid for the car.

  7. What factors can car insurance companies typically use when setting rates for full coverage? (8%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Your age.  b) Your gender.  c) Your address.  d) The length of your daily commute.  e) Your occupation.  f) Your credit history.  g) Your past accidents.  h) Tickets you have received.  i) The model of your car.  j) The year of your car.  k) The color of your car.

  8. If a friend told you she has liability limits of 25/50/40, what does that mean? (41%)
    Select one:  a) $25,000 for damage to her own car, $50,000 for damage to someone else’s car, $40,000 for bodily injury payments.  b) $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, $40,000 for property damage.  c) $25,000 if someone else’s car is totaled, $50,000 if her car is totaled, $40,000 for injury payments.  d) $25,000 for bodily injury to her own passengers, $50,000 for damage to her car, $40,000 for damage to someone else’s car.

  9. If a friend borrows your car and crashes it, whose insurance pays? (71%)
    Select one:  a) Your friend’s insurance.  b) Your own insurance.

  10. What are typical discounts auto insurance companies will offer if you qualify? (7%)
    Select all that apply:  a) Low mileage.  b) Using garage for vehicle.  c) Anti-lock brakes.  d) Anti-theft devices.  e) “Good student” discount for a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  f) Lane-departure warning system.  g) “Mature driver” (over 55) defensive driving course.

Answers at end of newsletter.
Source: http://www.insurance.com/, 5/7/13

Also, the Louisiana Department of Insurance provides consumers with helpful auto insurance information on its website.

The 10th Annual Louisiana Compliance Seminar & Legislative Review will be held on June 21, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

(For more information, agenda, and registration form, click here.)
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Answers to survey quiz: 1. e; 2. a; 3. b,c,d,g; 4. f; 5. c,d; 6. a; 7. a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,I,j; 8. b; 9. b; 10. a,c,d,e,g