Wooley: Bill’s Insured Damages Are Minimal

July 11, 2003

Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley said preliminary estimates show Tropical Storm Bill caused around $16 million in insured damages in Louisiana. Included in that figure are federal flood insurance claims.

In an announcement released by the Louisiana Department of Insurance, Wooley noted that the losses caused by Bill are typical of a severe thunderstorm rather than a tropical storm. “Damage estimates will likely increase slightly, but I don’t believe Bill caused much more damage than what we’re reporting now,” Wooley said. He added that the bulk of the claims filed are for flooded vehicles and falling debris, like tree limbs, on homes and businesses.

LDI estimates the following insurance claims have been filed in Louisiana as a result of Tropical Storm Bill:
· More than 2,250 homeowners claims with losses of more than $7.2 million;
· More than 1,150 private passenger auto claims totaling over $4 million;
· Nearly 1,000 commercial insurance claims totaling around $4 million;
· 255 federal flood claims totaling around $800,000.

Wooley said consumers should carefully read all correspondence they receive from their insurers. “Some insurance companies will actually raise your deductible and you may not realize it,” the Commissioner contended.

He added that an insurer cannot raise your deductible in the middle of a policy period but can upon renewal. “The insurance company is required by law to send their customers notice when raising deductibles, so it’s really important to review all documentation you receive from your insurance company.”

Wooley said some consumers may also be surprised to find that a hurricane deductible has been added to their policy.

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