Dutch Physical Therapy in Denham Springs held the “Recover, Rebuild, Reestablish: Livingston Parish After the Flood” seminar for the third consecutive week, focusing on flood insurance during Wednesday’s session.
The seminar has been held weekly since the first one April 20, and all have been at the Dutch Physical Therapy Clinic located off Highway 16.
On Wednesday, guest speaker Sonia Brumen of the Louisiana Department of Insurance gave a brief presentation on the National Flood Insurance Program before fielding questions about flood insurance for the second half of the seminar. Before that, Rick Singer, managing attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, opened the session by offering free services to homeowners with title problems.
But the focus of this meeting was on flood insurance, specifically the claiming process, something Brumen said always raises questions.
“People have problems with what they think their contents and dwellings are worth compared to what the adjuster thinks it’s worth,” Brumen said. “We want to shed some light on that.”
One common complaint was policy changes. A few of those present Wednesday said insurance companies have altered their policies without them being contacted about the changes until it was too late.
For example, one man claimed his contents were covered under his current insurance plan, but when he called the insurance company after the Great Flood of 2016, he was informed that the policy had changed to exclude contents, though the price stayed the same.
However, the man could never prove he wasn’t contacted about the changes because the paperwork containing his policy information washed away during the flood. Another married couple claimed the same.
To this, Brumen urged those in attendance to always keep electronic records of anything their insurance companies send them, something she has learned from experience.
“There’s always an electronic file somewhere,” Brumen said. “But if you do receive an actual letter, don’t just throw it away. If a policy change was made and you keep paying the bill, the insurance companies will take that as an agreement to the policy change.”
There will be a fourth seminar at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Dutch Physical Therapy clinic in Denham Springs, located at 30789 Highway 16.
Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks will serve as guest speaker, and he’ll be discussing the process of recovering, rebuilding and reestablishing within the community.
After that, the group will take a one-week hiatus before coming together again March 25, when attorney Danny Atkinson of the Joubert Law Firm will address constructor claims.