Released: August 30, 2005
Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley says preliminary estimates by one hurricane
modeling company suggests insured damages from Hurricane Katrina could reach as
high as $19 billion in Louisiana alone.
According to Applied Insurance Research Worldwide Corporation (AIR), total insured
losses from Katrina could top $26 billion nationwide. However,
cautions that these figures are very early estimates and will be revised as more
information becomes available. More than half of these losses are expected to be
to residential properties covered by homeowners insurance, according to Wooley.
Commissioner Wooley says consumers with insurance-related questions should call
their agent or their insurance company, or the phone number on their insurance policy.
If you have trouble reaching your insurance company or agent, contact the Louisiana
Department of Insurance statewide at 1-800-259-5300 or 225-342-5900 in Baton Rouge.
The Commissioner also warns consumers to be cautious about contracting with anyone
for storm damage repair work. "Check out any contractor or repair person before
doing business with them," Commissioner Wooley urges. "Also, take pictures
of any of your damaged property, including the contents of your home. Do not throw
any damaged items away until your adjuster has seen them."
Commissioner Wooley adds that several insurance companies have contacted him to
let him know that their catastrophe teams are on standby. State Farm asks their
customers to call their agent first. State Farm also has a toll-free number for
customers: 1-800-SFClaim. Help is also available on their Web site at
www.statefarm.com. Allstate says call your agent or 1-800-54 STORM, or visit
their Web site at www.allstate.com.