Volume 12, Issue 5
May 2021


Our monthly newsletter addresses consumer insurance topics as well as timely information on issues affecting senior citizens in Louisiana.


To find out if Consumer Advocacy will be in your area or to request a speaker for your organization or group, call (225) 219-0619 or send an email to: [email protected]

Before Filing a Claim: What You Need to Know

A review of your insurance policies can help clear confusion and save you time and money if you need to file a claim. Here are a few things to keep in mind when speaking with your agent about your policy.

Auto. Selecting a higher deductible may lower your monthly premiums. But if your vehicle is damaged and you file a claim, you will have to pay that higher deductible, which may exceed the cost of repairs.

Homeowners. Determine if your policy requires you to notify your agent or insurance company within a certain timeframe after a loss. Also, create a home inventory list to help expedite the claims process. You can download the new home inventory app from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It’s available in the Apple and Android app stores.

Health. Make sure your health care providers are in-network with your plan. If you’re unsure about who is a network provider, call your insurer or search for an online directory.

It’s important to understand your policy before a loss occurs. If you have questions about your policy contact your agent or insurance company. Find out what your policies cover, what is excluded and make changes if necessary.

car accident

FAQs After a Car Accident

If you need to file a claim after an auto accident, an adjuster will examine the damage to your vehicle. Here are a few facts that may help you get back on the road.

Can I be penalized for filing an insurance claim?

According to LA. R.S. 22:1284, an at-fault accident filed with your insurance company will probably cause your rates to rise. However, an insurance company cannot raise your premium if you did not cause the accident. If you have questions about a rate increase following a claim, contact our Office of Consumer Services at (225) 342-1258.

What happens if my car is a total loss?

According to LA. R.S. 32:702(14), if the damage to your car is extensive, and the claims adjuster determines the cost to repair your car is equal to or greater than 75% of the value of your car, the insurance company should declare your car a total loss. When this happens, your insurance company has the option to take the title for your vehicle when it issues payment on your claim.

The insurance company may use a fair market value survey of qualified retail dealers in your area or a car value service as a guide to valuing the car. The insurance company is required to pay what your vehicle was worth the moment before the crash. The claims adjuster will check to see what a car like yours (same make, model and year) is worth in your general geographic area.

It is also a good idea for you to independently research the value of your car before agreeing to a settlement with the insurance company. If your research indicates a higher value, you should negotiate with your insurer.

Can I choose the repair shop or does my insurance company decide?

According to LA. R.S. 22:1892(D)(1), as the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident or submitting an insurance claim, you have the right to select the repair facility of your choice.

Who is responsible for paying the repair shop- the insurance company or me?

You are. LA R.S. 22:1892 (C) requires that the check be paid to the claimant or the claimant’s attorney. This statute also allows the claimant to direct payment to a particular person. It is advisable to arrange payment prior to picking up your vehicle. You may direct an insurance company to pay the repair shop directly, but the shop should receive payment before you pick up your vehicle or payment must be prearranged to the satisfaction of the repair facility.


Senior couple with counselor

Give Back to Your Community

Our Senior Health staff is passionate about educating and assisting Medicare beneficiaries and you can help. The SHIIP volunteer team was created to help expand our ability to help seniors across the state. Volunteers help beneficiaries make decisions about annual prescription drug plan enrollment, keep them updated about important changes to Medicare and more. SHIIP volunteers make sure seniors in their parish are up to date on the latest Medicare information and make a real difference in the community. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, click here.


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Office of Consumer Advocacy
(225) 219-0619 or (800) 259-5300

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214
[email protected]