In recent weeks, we have hosted seminars and community events in Lake Charles, Louisiana to educate policyholders about 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 claims – to guide them through the process, is that the insured who has has copies of their policy may be misled by the standard terms and conditions of their insurance policies.
By law, insurers approved or authorized to issue home insurance in Louisiana are required to disclose certain information to policyholders, including that the insurance includes a process to provide the insurer with a report of a loss and that there may be time limits for repairs to receive full compensation cost for losses. 1
PROGRAM FOR APPLICATION OF CLAIMS There may be time limits for filing a claim and submitting satisfactory proof of loss . There may also be time limits for repairing and replacing damaged property that may result in you not recovering the cost of compensation for the insured loss of your property, if applicable. 2
It would be reasonable to expect a "revelation" to be informative. The information above does not provide any material information. And worse is that a review of the policy language in the section on the condition of submitting evidence of loss after a disaster is incorrect:
3. What you must do after A Los s 3
In the event of loss of any property that may be covered by this policy, you must:
g) within 60 days of the loss, provide us with a signed , swore proof of the loss. This statement must contain the following information:
1) date, time, place and cause of loss;
2) interest insured and others have in the property, including any obstacles,
3) actual cash value and amount of loss for each item damaged, destroyed or stolen;
4) any other insurance that may cover the loss;
5) any changes in ownership, use, occupancy or possession of the property that have occurred during the insurance period,
6) at our request, the specifications for damaged building construction or other structure;
7) evidence supporting all claims under credit cards, bank transfer cards, counterfeit and counterfeit money protection. State the cause and size of the loss.
In 2006, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana legislature dealt with the issue of unreasonable evidence of deadlines for loss and compensation in the event of a disaster:
§ 1264. Assumption of coverage 4
A. For losses incurred due to a catastrophic event for which a disaster or emergency was declared by law by civil servants, for the areas within the declaration, no damage to covered property shall be automatically denied by the policyholder's inability to provide sufficient evidence of loss within the insurance time limits. and requirements. The time limit for submitting proof of loss shall be at least one hundred and eighty days. The time limit shall not begin as long as an emergency declaration exists and civil authorities deny the insured access to the property.
B. For losses incurred due to a catastrophic event for which a state of emergency or emergency was declared by law by civil servants, for the areas within the declaration, each policyholder with compensation cost provisions shall have the right to complete repairs of the property within one year from the date of loss or issuance of applicable insurance income, whichever occurs later. Compliance with this provision entitles the policyholder with a claim for compensation cost to receive full value of the covered damage that has been repaired, without reduction due to depreciation.
C. The provisions of this section shall apply to all new policies and renewal policies delivered in the State of Louisiana after April 18, 2006.
Renumbered by R.S. 22: 682 through laws 2008, no. 415, § 1, eff. January 1, 2009. Added by law 2006, 1st ex. Sess., No. 23, § 1.
Although we have seen a couple of policies incorporate the 180-day statutory extension for catastrophic events into evidence of loss provisions, most insurances do not, and the amendments approved do not include statutory provisions, either. This has led to further concerns for Louisiana policyholders who may believe they must act within 60 days to make a harsh statement of evidence of loss, while their insurers have been given through the governor's proclamation another 30 days, a total of 60 days, also to initiate Hurricane Laura claims after filing for insurance. 5 Many insured people we spoke to were told to expect an adjuster in mid-October or later. We have also had public attendees contact us regarding the impossible 60-day time limit for submitting sworn evidence of loss.
Since the adjustment of the claim completed necessarily affects the time required to repair or compensate for damage resulting from the disaster, the legislator also extended the typical 180-day repair or replacement period to one year, as set out above. We have not seen this extension language in any policy that has been reviewed, yet.
Although most policyholders acknowledge the extent of Hurricane Laura's impact and have been very patient, the lack of information and guidance from insurers is extremely frustrating. Insurers have a confirmatory obligation to provide their insureds with a complete copy of their insurance upon request and to inform and advise them of any changes in Louisiana that are necessary to satisfactorily represent their coverage.
In further efforts to assist Louisiana policyholders in their recovery, has written to Commissioner Donelon of the Louisiana Department of Insurance requesting an advisory letter to insurance companies and tort counselors advising on statutory extensions of proof of loss and compensation time limits applicable to Hurricane Laura loses. 6 We are grateful to the many who work to bring out these problems and are happy to address any issues or problems to help recover.
1 LRS § 22: 1332. Delivery of homeowners' insurance; revelations.
2 Ref., Allstate Deluxe Plus Policy for Homeowners AP3340, Effective January 1, 2010.
4 L.R.S. § 22: 1264.
5 Emergency Rule 45, L.R.S. § 37: 4543. Sixty-day period to initiate adjustment of property claims.
6 Correspondence to Insurance Commissioner Donelon, 7 October 2020.