Important Information about Storm Damage
Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, if you’re a policyholder who has had storm damage, the Louisiana Department of Insurance encourages you to promptly contact your agent or insurance company.
Most policies require property owners to protect their property from further damage after a storm – so you may need to make temporary repairs. Keep the receipts for any repairs. Your insurance policy may have a provision for reimbursement or counting money spent towards your deductible. Other steps to take include:
- Take pictures or videos of the damage, both to your home and the contents.
- Make sure that your agent and insurance company have your correct contact information if you had to evacuate or are unable to receive information at your home.
- Attempt to separate damaged personal property items from undamaged items, but do not throw them away. Keeping these items will help the claims adjuster better assist you in completing an inventory of the items lost.
for downloadable quick facts on tornado damage.
For vehicle owners affected by storm damage:
If you have comprehensive coverage through your vehicle policy, you should be covered for damage. If your car was damaged while it was inside your attached garage, your homeowner's policy may cover the damage.
For renters affected by storm damage:
If you have renter’s insurance, storm damage is a covered peril. Your personal property damaged by the storm will be covered according to your policies limits. You will have to pay a deductible before your losses will be paid out however. Renter’s insurance may also include coverage for additional living expenses if you are unable to occupy your rented house or apartment due to storm damage. The coverage may help pay for additional costs you incur such as hotel bills. Important to know however, is that if your landlord has insurance on the property, it typically will not cover tenants.
For Medicare Recipients with Questions:
If you are a Medicare recipient affected by the storm and have questions about using your benefits, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program at 1-800-259-5300.
Wind-Driven Rain vs. Flooding
Generally, homeowners policies will cover wind, rain, hair, wind-driven rain and lightning damage. A separate flood policy is needed to protect homes, businesses and personal property against flood damage. Wind-driven rain damage, which is water damage that is a direct result of an opening in the roof or wall of a home that was caused by another peril, is a covered peril. If you have suffered both wind-driven rain and flooding during the storm, it should be reported to your flood insurance carrier as well as your homeowners insurance company.
About Flood Insurance
Since flood damage is not covered under homeowners policies, purchasing a separate flood insurance policy can help homeowners and commercial interests protect their homes and businesses. Although the LDI can answer basic questions about flood insurance, the Department does not regulate the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), approve its rates or changes or have any authority over the program. However, the LDI does monitor how these changes impact policyholders in the state. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the NFIP’s website or call 1-800-427-2419.
Your homeowners policy will likely have a storm deductible. This is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage will pay for the claim. You will find the amount of your deductible on the declaration page of your policy. It may be called a hurricane, named storm or windstorm and hail deductible. A storm deductible typically ranges anywhere from two to five percent of a home’s total insured value - so if a home is insured for $200,000 and has a five percent deductible, the first $10,000 must be paid out of pocket by the policyholder
Filing a Complaint
Storms are considered “Acts of God” or “Acts of Nature,” that are beyond human control. Common examples are severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Your insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the amount of the premium on your homeowners policy based solely on a loss caused by an Act of God. If you believe your insurance company has not handled your claim properly, you may file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. We will determine whether your insurance company has followed Louisiana law and abided by the terms of your policy in processing your claim.