POSTED: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 7:30am
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 7:34am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Insurance has launched new interactive Homeowners and Automobile Insurance Rate Comparison Guides . The online systems are designed to encourage Louisiana policyholders to shop for the best rates when selecting an insurance provider.
“Our hope is that these new systems will prove to be a useful resource for Louisiana homeowners and drivers,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “By allowing policyholders to easily compare the rates of insurers in Louisiana, it will put more information at people’s fingertips, saving them valuable time, and perhaps money.”
The new online comparison systems allow consumers to choose between different scenarios. For the homeowners guide, each scenario contains several variables such as age and value of home, and the level of coverage desired. For the automobile guide, the examples include a range of ages and driving history. Consumers can then select a city to see a sample of available rate quotes.
The LDI advises policyholders to keep in mind that the examples presented are not designed to match an individual’s particular circumstances. They are presented to demonstrate the relative differences between companies in selected geographic markets, and provide an incentive for consumers to shop around. The LDI cautions that inclusion of a company in the Homeowners Comparison Guide does not guarantee the company is open to writing new policies; some of these companies may not be currently writing new business in a particular area. Also, the LDI points out that a company not listed in the guide may actually offer the best coverage and service you need.
For the Homeowners Comparison Guide, consumers should also note that while policies from different companies may appear to offer comparable coverages, there can be significant differences between policies for important coverages (e.g. limits on special contents, additional living expense limits.) After reviewing the rates listed, contact your preferred insurance agent or company to receive an official premium quote.
When choosing an insurer, Commissioner Donelon suggests that homeowners look for a company that is financially sound, has a history of providing good service, and charges a fair rate. “Instead of focusing solely on the lowest premiums, we encourage folks to take a look at the complete picture. An inexpensive policy can end up costing you in the long run if the insurer cannot cover your claim after your home has sustained significant damage,” Donelon said.
If you would like further guidance, you can contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300. The Homeowners and Automobile Rate Comparison Guides can be found in the Consumer section of the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s website, www.ldi.la.gov . Along with the interactive tools, the companion online publications, the “Homeowners Rate Comparison Guide” and the “Automobile Rate Comparison Guide,” are now available and can be accessed under Consumer Publications on the LDI’s website.