Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is offering guidance to policyholders who filed claims for damage due to Hurricane Ida. As you work through the recovery process, keep in mind that your agent or insurance company may require you to meet certain deadlines to successfully settle your claim.
"First and foremost, I urge policyholders to ask their agent if their homeowners insurance policy includes replacement cost value coverage," said Commissioner Donelon. "Speaking with your agent can provide clarity about how a claim will be paid and if you need to do anything else to ensure the process is as smooth as possible."
Replacement cost value coverage reimburses policyholders for the cost of repairing a structure or replacing an item without deducting for depreciation. For example, if a 10-year-old roof was damaged, the insurer will ultimately pay the full cost to replace the roof rather than deducting for a decade of wear and tear.
Many insurers initially pay policyholders the actual cash value, or depreciated value, of an item or building component, then reimburse policyholders for the full amount when the item is repaired or replaced. Policies often require policyholders to replace the item and submit documentation to receive reimbursement.
Policyholders who have a replacement cost policy on their home have one year from the date of the loss or the date a claim payment was received, whichever is later, to file the additional documentation needed to receive full reimbursement (La R.S. 22:1264(B)). Some policies may have a longer deadline period, so policyholders should contact their agent for more information. Policyholders can submit receipts for replaced items that were previously reimbursed at actual cash value to collect the full replacement cost if the policy allows for it.
Policyholders with questions about upcoming deadlines, including for replacement cost benefits, proof of loss submissions addressed in our February 4 news release or other deadlines, should contact their insurer as soon as possible. If you have concerns about how a specific claim is being handled by your insurer, contact the LDI at 1-800-259-5300.
About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov.