The Louisiana Property and Casualty Insurance Commission is a panel created by statute and made up of members from various backgrounds representing government, consumers, and members of the insurance industry. The panel exists to suggest changes and improve the State’s insurance market. To that end, the Commission reviews and examines issues affecting the availability and affordability of property and casualty insurance and creates a report covering its findings. I was reviewing the most recent report, which covers 2019 and 2020, and I thought it was interesting just how much has changed since the last report was released.
Continue Reading Back-to-Back Years of Major Hurricanes Quickly Changed Louisiana’s Property Insurance Marketplace

In June, we noted in Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal opinion1 reversing a trial court’s judgment against an insured business affected by COVID-19. The case, Cajun Conti LLC, Cajun Cuisine 1 LLC, and Cajun Cuisine LLC d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and Governor John B. Edwards in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Louisiana, and the State of Louisiana, involves a popular New Orleans restaurant, known as Oceana Grill, which requested the trial court declare Business Interruption coverage existed under their policy. This type of request is referred to as a “Petition for Declaratory Relief,” as opposed to a request that a court compels another party to pay for losses that were caused by that party (referred to as a “Petition for Damages”).
Continue Reading The Difference in the Outcome of Your COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit May Depend on Which Court You File In

Arbitration provisions are becoming more common in surplus lines policies. These provisions affect how disputes will be resolved and where they will be resolved and can impact the legal rights of property insurance policyholders. These clauses are becoming so prevalent that I wrote a blog asking, Will Arbitration Be the New Appraisal?
Continue Reading Check For Arbitration Provisions In Surplus Lines Policies

August 27th marks the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Laura’s landfall in Southwest Louisiana, and besides bringing back a lot of painful memories, that means it will be the last day to bring a lawsuit against insurers for damages caused by that storm.
Continue Reading Alarm Bells Should Be Ringing For Anyone In Louisiana With An Unresolved Insurance Claim Stemming From Hurricane Laura

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

Unfortunately, we are singing the same old song again in Louisiana, having to report new administrative actions filed against public adjusters for the unauthorized practice of law and licensing violations. The pursuit of these types of actions by the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has been dormant for a few years. As a result, some public adjusters have relaxed their concern about possible scrutiny by the LDI on their conduct. This is a mistake. Even armed with all the correct types of documents, however, one can still fall outside the law regarding conduct.
Continue Reading Beware Public Adjusters – Danger Ahead in Louisiana!

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has examined the claims conduct of five insurance companies. As a result of these Targeted Market Conduct Examinations, he has proposed substantial fines. The Louisiana Department of Insurance News Release announcing these fines noted in part:
Continue Reading Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Proposes Fines Against Insurers For Wrongful Hurricane Claims Conduct

Always check time frames for proof of loss and the time to file a lawsuit. I preach these are lessons because the time to adjust claims and resolve disputes seems to be dragging on. While some states allow for an “equitable tolling” where the time for limitations is tolled until a denial occurs, most states do not allow this extension.
Continue Reading Condo Loses Claim Because of Statute of Limitations—Always Mark the Date to File Suit

In what I think is the first trial from Hurricane Laura involving bad faith allegations against an insurer, Scottsdale Insurance Company took a shellacking. I have been patiently waiting for one of the numerous Hurricane Laura cases to make its way to verdict, but they have all settled – until last week. Scottsdale argued that it paid on time and even overpaid. It is evident that the jury did not agree.
Continue Reading Hurricane Laura Bad Faith Verdict Against Scottsdale Insurance

The Louisiana legislature heard a lot of testimony and complaints about property insurance carriers that were not only slow-paying but also far too low-paying on hurricane claims following Hurricane Ida. The stories were similar to the post earlier this week where a federal judge found an insurance company guilty of bad faith for slow payment in Claim Delay Leads to Bad Faith Judgement.
Continue Reading Slow and Lowball Paying Insurance Companies—Why Is It Happening?