Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is offering guidance to homeowners and businesses impacted by Hurricane Laura. He also advises residents to exercise caution while surveying damage to their homes and businesses.
“While the rains have stopped for now, the danger still exists,” said Commissioner Donelon. “I urge everyone to wait for the all clear from authorities before travelling previously closed roads and areas. As soon as you are able to return to your property, you can take steps to protect it from further damage.”
The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following tips on preparing to file a claim:
- Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. Have your policy readily available and find out whether the damage is covered under the terms of your policy and how to file a claim. If you have trouble with that process, you can reach the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300 for assistance.
- Remember that flooding is generally not covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood insurance is a separate policy through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and some private insurers. In some cases, rain damage from holes in the structure made by falling trees or other wind damage do fall under homeowners insurance. Talk to your agent to find out which insurance policy may cover your losses.
- Minimize your losses and document the damage. Take photos of any damage and then make whatever reasonable temporary repairs are needed and keep your receipts for such repairs.
- Keep your receipts. If you are unable to stay in your home due to damage from a storm, keep your receipts for lodging, food and essentials. Your policy may cover a portion of the costs while you are temporarily relocated.
- Ask for identification from any agents, adjusters or contractors. Do not sign any contracts for repairs until you have been instructed to do so by your adjuster and you have checked the license, insurance and reputation of any contractor you want to hire.