Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley issued a reminder to citizens of his state that hurricane season is here and any unfinished hurricane preparation needs to happen now. The Atlanta Storm Season runs from June 1 through November.
According to Wooley, government forecasters predict a hurricane season that is at least as active as last year’s storm-filled one. “Louisiana was pretty lucky last year,” Wooley said, “but we have no guarantee that our good fortune will hold this time around.”
“Our first line of defense on the insurance front is to check on all our property insurance coverage right away. If you don’t have a flood insurance policy, that’s probably the coverage you should consider first,” Wooley said.
During a hurricane, flooding is a greater threat than wind is, although we tend to focus on the wind. Both Homeland Security and FEMA remind us that one of our greatest needs this hurricane season is to make homeowners, renters and business owners more aware of the danger from flooding. That means that, wherever you live in the state, the chances are very good that much of your damage will not be covered under your homeowners or other property insurance policy. It is also important to remember that you may have to wait for up to 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to take effect. Your local insurance producer or other insurance representative can sell you a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy or put you in touch with someone who can.
Wooley also pointed out that many companies halt the sale of property insurance in areas along the coast once a hurricane or tropical storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
“Today is the day you need to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on all fronts, and that includes knowing whether you have a hurricane deductible on your policy,” Wooley added.
Your insurance company notified you if a hurricane deductible was added to your policy, but we don’t always read everything we get in the mail, Wooley said. If a hurricane deductible has been added to your policy, it could mean that your usual $500 or $1,000 deductible will be thousands of dollars if you have a hurricane-related loss. If you find that you do have a hurricane deductible, contact your producer or other insurance company representative if you are interested in paying more in order to have your regular deductible apply to a hurricane-related loss.
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