I was speaking with an attorney from Jefferson Parish in Louisiana about Hurricane Laura claims. He told me that the word that best fit insurance company payments for that storm is “putrid.” If that is the case, insurance companies that wrongfully delay payment of claims in Louisiana for greater than thirty days can be subject to an automatic penalty.
Continue Reading Insurance Companies Have 30 Days to Pay or Be Subject to Penalties in Louisiana

In response to many concerned Louisiana policyholders and advocates, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) issued Bulletin 2021-03 to all authorized (admitted) and approved unauthorized (surplus lines) insurers who provide coverage for Louisiana policyholders’ damages as a result of the catastrophic events of 2020.1
Continue Reading Louisiana Department of Insurance Issues a Good Faith and Fair Dealing Bulletin To Louisiana Insurers

In the many catastrophes in which we have educated and assisted policyholders in understanding their rights, obligations, and benefits under their policies, we have never seen or heard of insurer non-response like we have in Louisiana after Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
Continue Reading Louisiana Policyholders Have a Right to Obtain a Complete Copy of Their Policy

The impact of Hurricane Delta six weeks after, and within fifteen miles of the same path of Hurricane Laura’s landfall in Southwest Louisiana, has many policyholders questioning the application of the Louisiana Homeowners’ Hurricane, Named-Storms, and Wind and Hail Deductible Law.1 We have received many calls from policyholders and public adjusters regarding various interpretations of the law, particularly, the misconception that it allows insurers to apply only one deductible in a calendar year. In recent blogs we discussed the Law and its triggers. Today we want to help Louisiana policyholders understand the legislative intent and the correct application of deductibles in the event of more than one Hurricane, Named-Storm, or Wind and Hail loss impacting their covered property in the same calendar year.
Continue Reading Understanding and Applying the Louisiana Homeowners’ Hurricane, Named-Storms, and Wind & Hail Annual Deductible

In recent weeks we have been hosting seminars and community events in Lake Charles, Louisiana to educate policyholders of their potential rights and obligations under their insurance policies. Along with the concern that most insureds do not yet have a copy of their full policy—including all forms and endorsements—to guide them through the process, is that those insureds who do have copies of their policies may be misled by the standard terms and provisions of their policies.
Continue Reading Louisiana Catastrophe Related Deadlines Extensions: Filing Proof Of Loss and Replacement Cost Coverage

Most people in the internet age will copy portions of what I am about to write about. Beware of what you read, rely on, and what is said by “people in the know.” I have learned from the hurricane school of hard knocks experience since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and “the song remains the same” for many hurricane loss scammers.
Continue Reading What to Do After Hurricane Laura—Dealing with My Independent or Catastrophe Adjuster

After a catastrophe such as Hurricane Laura, it is common that policyholders may not have a full copy of their insurance policy. Often the only policy document they may have in their possession is the Declaration Page showing a summary of the insurance benefits available to them. Though helpful, a full policy is necessary to inform the policyholders of their rights and duties under the insurance policy.
Continue Reading Hurricane Laura Recovery: Policyholder’s Duties After a Loss

As roadways are cleared of trees and debris and the downed power lines removed, residents begin returning to an unrecognizable community, their home, all landmarks destroyed in the heavily impacted areas. It is like a dream as they begin to navigate lost and in shock. Then, there it is: a remnant of what used to be a home, a business, a school, a store, the townhall—all destroyed. But resolve settles in with determination: “We have insurance. We’ll just rebuild.” And, it begins.
Continue Reading Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing After Hurricane Laura – What Now and How Long?

Insurance claims education is important for everybody in the property insurance claims business. Insurance restoration contractors, independent, company and public adjusters, as well as insurance defense and policyholder attorneys should be constantly learning so we can serve the public trust and make the insurance claim business work to fulfill the public’s expectation. “Insurance serves the public trust” is a statement of law found in most states, including Louisiana.
Continue Reading Can Chip Merlin Answer 21 Hurricane Laura Claims Questions in 15 Minutes? Watch Friday @2 With Chip Merlin to Find Out

Deborah Trotter was working with me in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Most of my time was spent with the Port of New Orleans litigation. She was trying to explain to me how codes were predominant, and that Louisiana common law took second place to Civil Law—meaning what was written in the Codes.
Continue Reading Hurricane Laura and the Unique Louisiana Property Insurance Law