BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- Insurance Commissioner has ordered insurers to pay policyholders expenses for evacuating from Hurricane Ida due to the dangerous living conditions in southeast Louisiana.
Directive 218, issued Tuesday, requires insurers to pay claims for loss of use for policyholders who evacuated or were prohibited from using their premises because of the storm. The order follows Bulletin 2021-07, which was issued last Friday and requested insurers to voluntarily pay claims for prohibited use even if parishes didn’t issue a formal mandatory evacuation order.
Commissioner Donelon strengthened the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s regulatory action over the loss of use issue after State Farm, the state’s largest insurer of homes, said it would not pay loss of use claims where no express civil authority order was in place.
“Hurricane Ida was a clear and present danger to the citizens of Louisiana,” Commissioner Donelon said. “Officials throughout the region took to the airwaves to get out the message that people needed to leave or stay in a safe place. Insurers must treat the many diverse actions taken by public officials as an order to leave and pay people who have coverage for their expenses.”
The Louisiana Department of Insurance encourages everyone to keep receipts for any extra expenses they face after a disaster. Additional living expense coverage pays the expenses beyond a policyholder’s normal expenses for housing and food, such as the cost of a hotel room or apartment rental and reasonable restaurant meals when someone is unable to cook.
The announcement is available below: