After the Storm: Insurance Concerns After Hurricane Zeta
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Insurance Commission Jim Donelon is offering guidance to New Orleans-area homeowners affected by Hurricane Zeta.
“While many homeowners have experienced damage from Hurricane Zeta, most were spared by this late October hurricane event,” said Donelon. “I urge homeowners affected by Hurricane Zeta to get their claims to their insurance companies as soon as possible as many adjusters and processing agents are still working on claims related to damage from Laura and Delta in other parts of Louisiana. Getting in line now can mean a shorter wait for an adjuster, and then a roofer or other contractor.”
The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following tips on preparing to file a claim:
- Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. Have your policy readily available and find out whether the damage is covered under the terms of your policy and how to file a claim. If you have trouble with that process, you can reach the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300 for assistance.
- Minimize your losses and document the damage. Take photos of any damage and then make whatever temporary repairs are needed and can be reasonably made. Keep your receipts for such repairs.
- Keep your receipts. If you are unable to stay in your home due to damage from a storm, keep your receipts for lodging, food and essentials. Your policy may cover a portion of those costs while you are temporarily displaced or were subject to a mandatory evacuation order.
- Closed files can be reopened if additional damage or expense is uncovered after an initial claim payment.
Generally, homeowners policies will cover wind, rain, hail, wind-driven rain and lightning damage. A separate flood policy is needed to protect homes, businesses and personal property against flood damage. Wind-driven rain damage, which is water damage that is a direct result of an opening in the roof or wall of a home that was caused by another peril, is a covered peril. Damage from rising flood water is not. If you have suffered both wind-driven rain and flooding during the storm, it should be reported to your flood insurance carrier as well as your homeowners insurance company.