Insurance commission, Ochsner, Citizens Property Insurance, Gretna
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is urging residents to be prepared and vigilant as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to track towards the Louisiana coastline.
“There remains some uncertainty as to exactly where Isaac will ultimately make landfall, but I urge residents to take steps, if they haven’t already, to prepare for the potential impact of this storm,” said Commissioner Donelon. “I encourage everyone to monitor the news and weather reports and to be prepared to shelter in place or evacuate based on directions from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or your parish officials.”
Commissioner Donelon stated that the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s call center will be available to assist consumers with their insurance questions and concerns throughout the event. The toll-free number is 1-800-259-5300. Consumers can also submit questions via email to [email protected].
The LDI has also implemented its Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). COOP is designed to ensure that the LDI will operate with minimal interruptions in the event of a disaster. Preparations made by divisions of the LDI include the following:
· Insurance Company Emergency Adjuster Registration program prepared in case claims adjusters need to be sent to disaster areas; online registration ready.
· Call center ready to be activated by Property & Casualty Consumer Affairs Division.
· Travel teams assigned and ready for dispatch to Disaster Recovery Centers statewide.
· All insurance company contact information updated and ready to distribute to public and for call center staff.
· Post-Disaster Insurance Guide information assembled and ready to distribute.
· Employee Emergency Response System ready to instruct staff in case of office closure; all staff emergency communications equipment ready.
· Remote site for meeting with insurance industry selected (England Air Park – Alexandria).
· Remote site for LDI operations at England Air Park in Alexandria ready in the event Baton Rouge offices rendered uninhabitable.
· Emergency insurance rules prepared.
· Office supplies stocked and computer back up servers ready at remote locations.
COOP was created following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and establishes structure for the management of emergencies and disasters.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following insurance checklist:
- Know your coverages. Check with your agent (producer) to find out if there is a hurricane deductible written into your policy. For example, a two percent hurricane deductible would require you to pay up to two percent of the insured value of your home instead of the usual deductible you pay when you have other types of losses. Also be aware that companies stop writing property policies when storms approach the Gulf of Mexico.
- Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help in the event you must file an insurance claim.
- Store copies of all your insurance policies in a safe location away from your home that is easily accessible in case of disaster. You may want to store your policies and inventory in a waterproof, fireproof box or in a safe and remote location such as a bank safe deposit box. Consider leaving a copy of your inventory with relatives, friends, or your insurance provider and store digital pictures in your email or on a website for easy retrieval.
- Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store your valuables where they will not get damaged in a flood or take them with you when evacuating.
- Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for each of your insurance providers (agents).
Quick facts about Flood Insurance
- Homeowners policies DO NOT cover most flooding. You need a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home and belongings against flood damage.
- Your automobile insurance policies cover flooding if you have purchased comprehensive coverage. If you only have liability coverage, your vehicle is not covered for flooding.
- You can buy flood insurance, even if your home has been flooded before. However, there may be a 30-day delay before flooding is covered. See your insurance agent for details.
For more information on how to prepare for a storm and what steps to take following a severe weather event, please visit the Hurricane Resource Center on the LDI website www.ldi.la.gov.
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance
As Tropical Storm Isaac approaches Louisiana, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance (LCPIC) reminds policyholders that policies can vary from property to property. Policyholders should refer to their Louisiana Citizens policies to determine applicable coverage and limits or contact their agent for assistance.
“Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is prepared to meet the claims needs of our policyholders as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches our state,” said LA Citizens Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Robertson.
Metairie Towers Office Properties, LCPIC’s main office location, is closing the building at 8:00am, Tuesday morning, Aug. 28. LCPIC anticipates that the office will reopen on Friday, Aug. 31. We encourage anyone planning to visit this office to call before they come to confirm that the office building has reopened.
Policyholders wishing to make a payment can do so through their agent or service provider. A policyholder’s insurance agent and service provider are listed on the declaration page of his or her policy. The declaration page is the first page of the policy. When speaking to an insurance agent or a service provider, policyholders should have their insurance policy number available.
Preparing to File a Claim
Policyholders are encouraged to report any claims immediately by contacting their agent. If a policyholder cannot reach their agent, he or she can contact their service provider. A policyholder’s insurance agent and service provider are listed on the declaration page of his or her policy.
Policyholders are also encouraged to visit the company website at www.lacitizens.com for more information about filing a claim.
Louisiana Citizens has already begun to organize a network of claims adjusters to assist homeowners in verifying their claims and commencing payments for covered losses following the landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Once Louisiana Citizens policyholders contact their insurance agent or a service provider to report a claim, the policyholder will receive a claim number and will be contacted by an adjuster within 72 hours.
In anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac, all Ochsner Health System health centers/ clinics will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 28 and 29.
All Ochsner hospitals will remain open to treat emergencies during and after the storm. Emergency departments will only accept patients requiring critical services.
- Ochsner Medical Center
- Ochsner Baptist Medical Center
- Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner
- Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus
- Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge
- Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore
- Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital
For questions, please call 1-866-OCHSNER or visit ochsner.org.
The Special Medical-Needs hotline, 504-349-5642, will close at 8pm tonight. After 8pm, for special needs information contact the Jefferson Parish Department of Emergency Management at 504-349-5360.
City of Gretna
The City of Gretna wishes to advise you of some important information relative to the approach of Hurricane Isaac.
Garbage and trash collection services scheduled for Tuesday, August 28th are cancelled. Residents south of the Westbank Expressway and your normal pickup is for Tuesday, please remove your garbage can and trash from the street to prevent spillage and flying debris during the high winds expected on Tuesday.
Additionally, Gretna City Hall will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday so that city employees can focus on storm related issues. You may call 504-363-1500 or 363-1505 during the event as these phones will be active. Should you need city services, please call at any time.
Please go to our website www.gretnala.com for updates during the storm for Gretna related events.
Mayor Ronnie Harris
Wildlife Management Area
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed 26 state wildlife management areas (WMAs) within the parishes in the anticipated landfall path of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Those WMAs include: The Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Biloxi, Elm Hall, Grassy Lake, Hutchinson Creek, Joyce, Lake Boeuf, Lake Ramsey, Manchac, Marsh Island, Maurepas Swamp, Pass a Loutre, Pearl River, Pointe au Chenes, Pomme de Terre, Salvador-Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, State WMA, Tangipahoa, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.
All WMAs designated as closed will remain closed until further notice. For a complete list of WMAs and locations, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma .
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