Last October we pointed out the alarming number of Louisiana insurers adding to the grief of Hurricane Laura insureds by requesting Proofs of Loss within 60 days and repairs to be completed within 180 days in order to receive replacement cost benefits under their policies. We also sent correspondence to Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner, James J. Donelon, requesting an Advisory Letter be sent to Louisiana insurers reminding them of Louisiana’s statutory extensions for Proofs of Loss and Replacement Cost Coverage deadlines. On February 11, 2021 Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner issued Bulletin 2021-02:1
Continue Reading Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Issues Bulletin on Statutory Extensions for Proof Of Loss And Replacement Cost Coverage Deadlines

The National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) was implemented to assist victims of flood recover through the issuance of Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”) under the National Flood Insurance Act (“NFIA”). The SFIPs are not grants, they require payment of insurance premiums in exchange for the coverages promised under these flood policies. Ideally, the premiums create of “pool” of money from which to draw to pay out claims. This “pool” often dries up and the federal government is called upon to fund the NFIP.
Continue Reading The Meandering of the Louisiana Great Flood of 2016: NFIP WYO Insurer’s Baseless Denials Rejected

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has reissued Directive 173 (Revised and Reissued)1 to remind insurers of La. R.S. 22:868(A) and to advise of recent amendments, effective August 1, 2020, made in Louisiana’s Regular Session 2020, which adds “venue” to subsection (A)(2):

Please take note that, pursuant to La. R.S. 22:868(A)(2), arbitration and appraisal provisions that attempt to deprive Louisiana courts of jurisdiction or venue are not permitted in insurance policies or insurance contracts delivered or issued for delivery in Louisiana.
Continue Reading Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Binding Arbitration and Binding Appraisal Provisions Are Prohibited in Louisiana

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

On August 27, 2020, one month ago, Hurricane Laura made landfall causing catastrophic damage in Southwest Louisiana and beyond. For those who remained or were able to return quickly, it must seem a lot longer. Many of those may have been able to notify their insurers of their loss as soon as communications were restored. And, soon the damage estimates based upon the insurer’s investigation of their losses will begin to trickle in.
Continue Reading Determining Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value in Louisiana

In active hurricane seasons, coastal communities may face more than one named storm in a season. Named storm and hurricane deductibles are very high, sometimes as high as 5% of the insured value of the property, which amounts to thousands of dollars in a time of diminished resources. Some states have passed laws to prohibit insurers from applying these high deductibles more than once during the calendar year. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita impacted Louisiana’s coastal communities within two weeks of each other in 2005, Louisiana passed its Annual Deductible Law.
Continue Reading Louisiana’s Annual Named Storm / Hurricane Deductible Law

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