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Tropical Storm Nicholas could pose risk to insurance claims from Ida

Posted by Dennis Danos | Sep 16, 2021

Posted: Sep 14, 2021 / 09:00 AM CDT / Updated: Sep 14, 2021 / 09:44 AM CDT


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With Tropical Storm Nicholas on the way, people who are trying to rebuild after Hurricane Ida have a few things to keep in mind when it comes to insurance.

If Hurricane Ida caused damage to a roof, the heavy rain predicted with Nicholas could be a concern. Insurance companies say the policyholder has a duty to prevent additional damage from happening, but the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner said it's a little different with named storms.

“If the opening in your roof results in water coming in now and getting behind your sheetrock and your walls, the remediation and repair of that will be part of your claim,” Jim Donelon said.

There are some limits to what will be covered by insurance from storms that happen during hurricane season.

“If that causes your property to be damaged by floodwaters that [are] not covered by virtually all homeowners and commercial property policies. For wind damage for sure, that is a new claim and they should file a claim for that damage as well,” Donelon said.

Even if a policyholder had minimal damage in Ida or any amount from the coming storm, people are urged to report it. Storm damage during hurricane season can't cause insurance companies to cancel your policy or increase premiums.

“File your claim even if your claim will be under that amount because your second event is limited by whatever your total deductible is minus what they didn't pay you for the first hurricane because of the deductible,” Donelon said.

For anyone looking for aid through FEMA, they are urging people to sign up for the Blue Roof program in the affected parishes. They understand with the widespread damage a roof may not get covered in time for the next system.

“They need to contact the Army Corps of Engineers to apply for a blue roof and certainly if the corps has not gotten around to putting one on it'll still be something eligible on a case by case basis because it happened during Ida,” said Nate Custer, Media Relations Specialist for FEMA.

If damages are incurred during Tropical Storm Nicholas, it will be up to the president to declare a disaster in order for people to apply again with the new damages. For now, they are processing the damages from Ida.

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