Isaac Prods Insurers to Shift Into Proactive
Hours after the Navy destroyer USS Cole was bombed in Yemen on Oct. 12, 2000, killing 17 American sailors and injuring 39, the families of members of Navy Federal Credit Union likely didn’t know that much more was going on behind the scenes on their behalf.
Mike Retelle, CUNA Mutual Group claims manager and disaster team leader, recalled how some of the sailors killed or injured may have had insurance policies running through the $49 billion Navy Federal in Vienna, Va. It turned out that some did.
Lamonica said many of the insurers in Louisiana have a windstorm, named-storm or hurricane deductible on homeowners’ policies. These deductibles can range from 2% to 5% of the total insured value of the property. Louisiana is unique in that this deductible is applied on an annual basis, she noted, adding a homeowner who sustained damage from Isaac will likely have to pay this deductible. Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon estimated that Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., described by Lamonica as the state’s insurer of last resort, will pay claims from Isaac totaling less than $75 million. The insurer has a 2% hurricane deductible on its policies, except for properties below the Intracoastal Waterway, which have at least a 5% deductible.
“The claims reporting process has been moving along with no reports of problems from companies,” Lamonica said. “Many of the insurers were in place, ready with mobile units, prior to Hurricane Isaac making landfall. Once it was safe to move into the impacted areas, the companies partnered with local media and other agencies to help spread the word about the mobile sites across the state.”