Louisiana Department of Insurance
MONTHLY REPORT
Volume 11, Issue 4
April 2011


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

Raymond J. Aleman, Sr.
Lee Ann Alexander
Paul Buffone
Sheriff Greg Champagne
Representative Page Cortez
Manuel DePascual
Nick Gautreaux
Michael Guy
Chris Haik
Lance "Wes" Hataway
LTC John A. LeBlanc
Senator Eric LaFleur
Ann Metrailer
Robert Moorman
Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish
Carrie Pena
Stephen Schrempp
Earl Taylor


Staff
Terrell B. Moss, Director

David Evans,
Supervisor/Research Analyst

Katie Walsh, Administrative Assist./Research Analyst

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

Insurance Check

With summer quickly approaching, many people are beginning to plan family vacations.  If your home will be left unoccupied for a lengthy period of time, whether for an extended vacation or if you are planning to move and leave your home vacant, you may need additional homeowners coverage.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, many policies have a vacancy clause that is triggered due to the increased risk of break-ins in an unoccupied house.  The additional coverage may save you money down the line.  Check with your insurer to see if this coverage is offered.

Using Smart Phones While Driving Is Not So Smart

Cell phone use while driving is currently a hot topic, and sadly, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto crashes today.  Thirty-one states in the U.S. have bans on texting while driving, 27 of those states (including Louisiana) have primary enforcement laws.  With the popularity of smart phones on the rise, drivers are not only able to talk and text, but also access the internet and even download music while behind the wheel of a car.   
A recent study indicates that drivers are most likely to access the internet in the following situations:

  • When stopped at a light
  • When stopped in traffic
  • While driving alone
  • While driving during daylight
  • On a long drive on the interstate

So what exactly are drivers doing on the internet?  The study finds that the top five responses were:

  • Finding driving directions
  • Checking e-mail
  • Looking up specific information of immediate interest
  • Looking at social networking sites
  • Composing and sending e-mails

Cindy Garretson, director of Auto Technology Research at State Farm, said in an e-mailed statement, “This survey reinforces the concern that many drivers are not getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving. The use of smart phones while driving is just one more distraction to add to the growing list. There’s much more to learn about this emerging trend, but our message to all drivers remains: keep your hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and attention focused on the drive. Nothing on your smart phone is more important than arriving at your destination safely.”  

2011 Hurricane Predictions

Expect an active hurricane season in 2011, according to three major forecasters.  Weather Service International (WSI) is predicting 15 named storms, eight of which are expected to become hurricanes.  Of these, four are expected to develop into major hurricanes- Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.  Colorado State University (CSU) and AccuWeather all have similar forecasts.

Tropical StormsHurricanesMajor Hurricanes
CSU1695
AccuWeather1583
WSI1584

Hurricane season begins on June 1st and lasts until November 30th.

Save the Date:

The 8th Annual Louisiana Filing and Compliance Seminar will be held in conjunction with the Louisiana Insurer’s Conference.  The seminar will be held August 12th at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge and will include a welcome by Commissioner Jim Donelon, legislative review, breakout sessions and a discussion of hot topics.

Additional conference details will become available in the near future.  Conference information can be found on the Louisiana Department of Insurance web site: http://www.ldi.la.gov/Property_Casualty/Rating/2011FilingSeminar.html

Please Note: The Louisiana Property and Casualty Insurance Commission (LPCIC) released the 2010-2011 Annual Report to the Legislature on April 19th.�Copies of the report were distributed to the governor, members of the legislature and LPCIC members (which includes the commissioner of insurance). An electronic copy of the report can be found on the Louisiana Department of Insurance web site, www.ldi.la.gov , under the LPCIC link.