Anybody who joined me for our Hurricane Ida webinar yesterday could tell that Steve Mullins is an aggressive and experienced property insurance advocate. Steve was born in New Orleans and is the eldest son of Louisiana parents. Steve grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Ocean Springs. He is a proud graduate of Ocean Springs High School, where he was active in football, student government, and all sorts of fun that is available when you live along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I know about those fun things because I lived in Waveland, Mississippi, for three of my best formative years.
Continue Reading Steve Mullins With Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Ties Joins Merlin Law Group

Lucas H. Morehouse has joined Merlin Law Group’s New Orleans office. Morehouse is a native of Louisiana and originally from New Orleans. He received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, where he double-majored in History and Political Science. Then, he stayed in Baton Rouge and received his Law Degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Lucas is a proud Louisiana Tigers fan.
Continue Reading Louisiana Attorney Lucas Morehouse Joins Merlin Law Group

Louisiana policyholders have suffered through their share of destructive storms, hurricanes, and floods over the past five years. Many of these policyholders need the services of quality restoration contractors and great public insurance adjusters. Recently, Hurricane Ida has led to a number of public adjusters asking for advice about doing work in Louisiana. I tell public adjusters “do not do business as usual and do not have a contingent agreement.
Continue Reading Louisiana Public Adjusters Should Not Have Any Form of a Contingent Agreement

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

Hurricane Ida claims in Louisiana are underway. Following Hurricane Laura, a number of Louisiana public adjusters complained about many insurance companies not speaking with them and simply ignoring their own policyholder customers. All adjuster and claims managers should read and follow a February 26, 2021, Bulletin1 from Louisiana’s insurance commissioner about what is expected of them regarding good faith claims handling and working cooperatively to help Louisiana policyholders.
Continue Reading Louisiana Policyholders Deserve Good Faith Treatment – Insurance Companies Cannot Ignore Public Adjusters and Should Communicate with Policyholders

Louisiana Act 345 will have an immediate impact on Louisiana property insurance claims from Hurricane Ida. The law just became effective on August 1, 2021, without much publicity. Hurricane Ida has done significant damage in Louisiana, and everybody involved in the claims process should carefully consider this new law.
Continue Reading New Louisiana Property Insurance Law Impacts Hurricane Ida Claims

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

The first lawsuit and first tried case regarding the business interruption issues related to COVID-19 was won by the insurance carrier. Here is a copy of the brief Order finding in favor of the insurer.

Regardless of the outcome, my hat is off to John Houghtaling for bringing the action and being a relentless advocate for policyholders in the courtroom and in the halls of Congress. He deserves to receive the Policyholder Attorney of the Year at the Win The Storm Conference which will be held in New Orleans at the end of the month.
Continue Reading Chip At @2 Will Be At 2:30 With Update on New Orleans Oceana COVID Trial Won By the Insurer

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