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

In the aftermath of a devastating storm, when lives are upended and memories are scattered about, light and hope do arrive. They arrive in many forms, including: through first responders who clear the way and answer the call from every state in our great nation and beyond; through family and friends who make a way to care for their own; through those who have made it their life’s work and business to aid in disaster recovery efforts; and through the many volunteers who freely give of their energy and resources to aid their fellow beings in their most challenging times. But, sadly, among them also are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Continue Reading Disaster Relief: Is a Post-Loss Anti-Assignment Clause Prohibited in Louisiana?

Note: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Great food, friendly people, charm, and character all combine to make Louisiana wonderfully unique. What also makes Louisiana unique is its set of laws. Historically, Louisiana law is largely based upon the Napoleonic Code, instead of the English common law, as is the rest of the U.S. The public adjuster law is no exception.
Continue Reading Public Adjusting in Louisiana