Volume 6, Issue 7 July 2015


Our monthly newsletter addresses consumer insurance topics as well as timely information on issues affecting senior citizens in Louisiana.


To find out if Consumer Advocacy will be in your area or to request a speaker for your organization or group, call (225) 219-0619 or send an email to: consumeradvocacy@ldi.la.gov

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter please send an email to the following address with "REMOVE FROM CONSUMER ADVOCACY MAILING LIST" in the subject line: public@ldi.la.gov

Are You Insured for Summer Fun?

There's nothing like summer in Louisiana. They don't call it the Sportsman's Paradise for nothing. But before you take the boat out on the water, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) would like to remind you to make sure you are properly protected this summer by reviewing your insurance needs.

Fun on land…

All-terrain vehicles or ATVs are not covered by standard automobile insurance policies, but your homeowners policy may partially cover liability risks. Your insurance agent can help you determine if you have sufficient coverage on your homeowners policy or if you should consider purchasing additional coverage. Remember that there may be restrictions regarding who may operate the ATV.

Much like cars and trucks, it is required to have adequate liability and bodily injury coverage to operate motorcycles and mopeds in the state. The minimum requirements for automobile and motorcycle insurance in Louisiana are 15/30/25. That is, in a single accident, the limits are $15,000 for injury to one person, $30,000 total for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. For pricier motorcycles, you may opt to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage as well.

Out at sea…

Although the coverage for your liability risk is limited, the personal property coverage of your homeowners policy may cover a small boat for $1,500 or less in physical damage. Larger boats, however, will be excluded from your homeowners policy for property and liability coverage. If you own a larger boat you should speak with your insurance agent about purchasing a separate policy to provide liability coverage and ensure you are covered for any damages. Personal watercrafts such as jet skis will also likely require a separate policy that can be purchased from your homeowners insurer or an insurer that specializes in boat insurance.

In your backyard…

In addition to providing backyard fun for your family, pools and trampolines also may increase your insurance risk. It may be best to consider purchasing an umbrella policy in addition to your homeowners insurance policy to increase your liability coverage. Keep in mind that since pools and trampolines can be dangerous, some insurers may choose to deny your coverage or cancel your insurance policy if you do not follow the safety guidelines of the policy. Your policy can also be cancelled if you fail to notify your insurer of these additions to your property.

In someone else’s backyard…

For many of us, summer fun can also mean leaving for new scenery. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a long road trip, you should be aware of what your homeowners policy does and does not cover. Typically your homeowners policy will follow you, protecting you even when you’re not at home. If you’re staying at a hotel and your belongings are stolen, your homeowners policy will provide coverage but the exact coverage depends on your policy. There may also be limits on items such as jewelry and furs. You should contact your agent to determine what exactly is covered under your policy.

For more information about reviewing your insurance needs, contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300 or visit us online at www.ldi.la.gov.

Medicare Turns 50

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare. The national health insurance program helps pay a portion of medical expenses for people 65 and over and for eligible people with disabilities under age 65. Over the years, Medicare has made tremendous strides in improving the access to health insurance among seniors and disabled Americans.

Before being signed into law on July 30, 1965, less than 50 percent of seniors had health insurance according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). During the first year of the program, more than 19 million people enrolled in Medicare and access to health care increased by one-third. As it stands today, more than 54 million Americans have access to Medicare benefits.

Through partnerships with local agencies and the work of dedicated counselors, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) helps provide assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana. In addition to the newly updated 2015 Medicare Supplement Comparison Guide, SHIIP offers a wealth of resources for Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries including an interactive map that helps beneficiaries locate counselors close to their home.

In honor of Medicare’s 50th anniversary, we invite you to check out all of SHIIP’s resources by visiting www.ldi.la.gov/SHIIP. For more on the history of Medicare, click here.

SHIIP Spotlight: Teche Action Clinic

The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) helps Medicare beneficiaries better understand their Medicare coverage options, rights and benefits. Through partnerships with agencies across the state, SHIIP offers free and confidential assistance with trained counselors to beneficiaries to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.

On June 22, 2015, SHIIP honored Teche Action Clinic with its first annual Outstanding Partner award. Under the leadership of Dr. Gary M. Wiltz, the staff at Teche Action Clinic has assisted nearly 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Louisiana over the past year. Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Consumer Advocacy Ron C. Henderson, SHIIP Director Vicki Dufrene and Executive Management Officer Ron Williams were on hand to present the award to Dr. Wiltz.

Teche Action Clinic is a network of 10 community health centers in South Louisiana and was the first community health center in the state to partner with SHIIP in offering free Medicare counseling to senior citizens.

Teche Action Clinic is only one of SHIIP’s many partners offering counseling services in Louisiana. To find Medicare assistance near you, click here or contact SHIIP at 1-800-259-5300.

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Office of Consumer Advocacy
(225) 219-0619 or (800) 259-5300

P.O Box 94214

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214