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Louisiana Department of Insurance Offers Guidance Following Tornado Damage

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Insurance is available to assist residents affected by the tornado that hit the New Orleans area Tuesday. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon encourages policyholders who need to file a claim or have questions about the claim filing process to contact their agent or insurer as soon as possible.

“Early reports indicate the tornado that touched down in Arabi was an EF3, and the damage left in its wake is certainly in line with that designation,” said Donelon. “I encourage anyone affected by the storm to contact their agent as soon as possible to begin the claims process and to contact the LDI with any concerns they may have as a result of this disaster.”

The LDI offers the following tips on filing a claim for property damage after a severe weather event:

Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. If possible, have your policy number and an initial assessment of the damage ready. Make sure your agent and insurance company have your correct contact information.

Keep receipts for any necessary inspections or repairs you make. These expenses may be reimbursable under your policy. Do not make permanent repairs until your insurer has inspected the damage.

Take pictures or video of the damage. Visually document the damage before cleaning up or making temporary repairs. Attempt to separate damaged personal property items from undamaged items, but do not throw them away. Keeping these items will help the claims adjuster assist you in completing an inventory of the items lost.

Read your policy. Even if you have full coverage, you still have an obligation to mitigate your damage by taking actions such as putting a tarp on your roof and boarding up broken windows. Keep your receipts for expenses incurred in taking these temporary measures.

When an adjuster visits your property, make sure you ask for identification. You can call the LDI or visit our website to verify his or her licensure.

Be aware that tornadoes are considered “Acts of God” or “Acts of Nature.” An insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the amount of premium on a homeowners policy based solely on an Act of God. Damaged vehicles should be covered by your automobile insurance policy if your policy provides for comprehensive coverage.

Anyone affected by the storm is encouraged to contact the LDI with insurance questions or concerns at 1-800-259-5300. More detailed guidance is available at ldi.la.gov/storm-damage-recovery. If you believe your insurance company is not properly handling your claim, you can file a complaint with the LDI.

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