“Here in Louisiana, we’re hyper-aware of the start of hurricane season and are ready and willing to prepare early, but we’re not quite so vigilant about spring rains,” said Commissioner Donelon.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is reminding Louisiana families to check their home insurance coverages before the spring rainy season begins. While it’s important to take precautions to protect your family during a severe weather event, a little bit of preparation beforehand can make a large difference after the storm.

“Here in Louisiana, we’re hyper-aware of the start of hurricane season and are ready and willing to prepare early, but we’re not quite so vigilant about spring rains,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Already this year the Bonnet Carre’ flood gates are open and we expect to see higher than average river levels this spring after the massive snow falls that the Northern states have been seeing melts. Reviewing your coverages and preparations now can make a big difference if you have to file a claim in the future.”

The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following tips on preparing for spring storms:

---Know your coverages. Although you may already have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, make sure you know exactly what it covers. If you don’t own a policy, arrange to purchase one as soon as possible in order to protect yourself and your family from a devastating loss. Waiting until a storm arrives may be too late to protect your home and belongings.

---Update your home inventory. You can use your phone to take pictures or video of the items in your home. Having a record of your possessions will make the claims process easier in the event of property damage or loss. Include identifying information such as brand name and serial number.

---Store copies of your important documents off-site. In case of an emergency evacuation, you’ll want to have copies of your family’s essential documents and copies of your insurance policies filed away in a separate location or backed-up on a secure internet site or jump drive.

---Get flood insurance. Flood damage resulting from heavy rain or storm surge is excluded from most policies and there is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. For information on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, you can contact your agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov. You can search for an agent on the LDI website at www.ldi.la.gov/findagent.

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.

Contributed by the La. Dept. of Insurance