Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon recently issued an Emergency Rule that extends protections for the state’s many policyholders who were impacted by the August 2016 flooding.
Gov. John Bel Edwards authorized the action in Executive Order 2017-11, which grants the commissioner temporary authority to suspend certain regulatory provisions of the Louisiana insurance code.
“Emergency Rule 33 provides some essential consumer protections for insured individuals and business owners in our state who have been repairing and rebuilding in the aftermath of the August flood,” said Commissioner Donelon. “This rule comes on the heels of FEMA’s decision to grant my request for an extension to the National Flood Insurance Program Proof of Loss deadline until September 1. The emergency rule and NFIP extension will provide policyholders with some much-needed flexibility in the recovery process.”
Limits on policy cancellations, terminations
Under Emergency Rule 33, which continues the provisions of previously issued Emergency Rules 28, 30 and 32, the commissioner has suspended the ability of insurers to cancel or terminate policies due to the inability of policyholders in federally declared disaster areas to comply with certain policy provisions during the state of emergency. For example, some policies might require habitation or occupancy of dwellings or similar provisions that are not reasonably feasible to comply with following the catastrophic flooding.
The Emergency Rule covers the period Aug. 12, 2016, through Aug. 14, 2017, and provides as follows:
- The emergency rule applies to all insurers regarding all types of homeowners and/or residential property insurance, commercial insurance, fire and extended coverage insurance, credit property and casualty insurance, property and casualty insurance and surplus lines insurance.
- The Emergency Rule applies to insureds living in Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana. All of those parishes were included in the federal disaster declaration following the August 2016 flood events.
The Emergency Rule 33 is available at the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) website.
If your property — or your client’s property — is located in one of the parishes indicated, it was affected by the August 2016 flooding, and you believe your insurance policy has been cancelled despite the provisions of Emergency Rules 28, 30, 32 and 33, the LDI wants to hear from you. You should call the LDI at 1-800-259-5300 to discuss your situation or to file a complaint.