NEW ORLEANS — Homeowners insurance is vital to keeping your largest investment protected, but sometimes those documents can be hard to understand. Officials working with the state's Consumer Advocacy Division saw this firsthand when they were traveling to areas impacted by Hurricane Ida.
Ron Henderson, the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance over the Consumer Advocacy Division said, "Well, it came about from the storm. We would actually go into places to talk to people about their insurance issues. So along with not reading the policy, not understanding the policy, now you have damage and you're frantic."
As of February 2022, Hurricane Ida reportedly cost the state $75 million, making it one of the costliest storms in history. Damage at this scale has proven to be catastrophic for property owners and insurance companies. The goal of the 'Know Your Policy Event' aims to answer questions and ease concerns for policyholders, to ensure they know the proper steps to take if they need to make a claim.
"We give them little tips on how to manage that policy process and who are the players, when there's damage from the agent, through the adjuster, all the way down to how you get paid," said Henderson. "Insurance companies want to pay you everything they owe you, they're never going to pay you more. And if you're not taking care of business, they may end up paying you less, because you don't have all the information that you need."
Monday night, the Hurricane Prep: Know Your Policy meeting will be hosted at the Felicity Church at 6 PM.
This meeting comes on the heels of ongoing homeowners' insurance issues. It comes one week after Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced a proposal from Louisiana Citizens Insurance, which is known as the state's company of last resort. Commissioner Donelon said the company had submitted a request to increase plans by 63%. That would be another blow to the thousands of homeowners who were forced onto the company after their insurance companies ended policies in the state. However, nothing is final yet, the Commissioner said he is the one who decides whether to approve the rate or not. That decision could come in a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, he added that customers should have other options in the coming months as well. Donelon said the state hopes to introduce new property insurance companies to homeowners, within the next six months.
If you miss tonight's meeting, you can click here for future events.