Federal Court Decides Hurricane Katrina Insurance Lawsuit Filed More Than Two Years After Hurricane Anniversary Prescribed

In Dixey, II v. Allstate Insurance Company, –F.Supp.2nd, 2010 WL 126628 (E.D.La.), plaintiff filed his Hurricane Katrina insurance lawsuit after the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and attempted to use the Louisiana class action statutes to demonstrate that his claim had not prescribed. The Court determined the claim had prescribed finding the “liberative prescription” set forth in LA-CCP art 596 is not applicable to the “contractual prescription” set forth in the policy. Allstate maintained that contractual limitation period set forth in its policy cannot be interrupted or suspended. This decision is wrong. The Court failed to recognize that the twelve month provision in the contract is also a liberative prescriptive period. It is not in the language of the insurance company; rather, it is the language of the Legislature and expressed in words which the fire statute (LA-RS 22:691(F)) requires be inserted in the policy, word for word, line for line, number for number. See, Gremillion v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 240 So.2d 727, 256 La. 974 (1970). Further, the court must strictly construe the statute against prescription and in favor of the claim that is said to be extinguished and CC 3457 provides there is no prescription other than that established by legislation. Additionally, in 2006 oral argument before the Louisiana Supreme Court, Allstate, State Farm and USAA, the three remaining defendants in a Hurricane Katrina lawsuit, even acknowledged the applicable limitation period is a liberative prescriptive period and capable of being suspended under the doctrine of contra non valentem. […]

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Louisiana Policyholders Get Money Back Now; LA Citizens Special Assessment Is Expected For The Next 15 Years

Many homeowners I know are unaware they may be entitled to a refund of the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Special Assessment paid along with their regular homeowners insurance premium. The assessment is paid in addition to her normal homeowners insurance premium and is listed separately on the Declaration page of the homeowner’s policy as a Louisiana Citizens Assessment. The State of Louisiana authorized the special assessment to pay for LA Citizens’ billion dollar deficit caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Bonds were issued so that LA Citizens could pay its Hurricane insurance claims. This assessment will remain in effect until the bonds are retired in 2025. To help Louisiana policyholders recoup this additional charge, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law, R.S. 47:6021, which authorizes a refundable income tax credit for the Louisiana Citizens assessment. Policyholders can only claim the refund in the year paid. The credit can be claimed on either the individual income tax return or by filing a “Request for Refund of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Assessment”, Form R-540INS after the assessment has been paid. This credit is available only for the amount of the LA Citizens assessments and is not available for the normal homeowner’s premium. If you have questions concerning your eligibility for the refund, contact your CPA or the Louisiana Department of Revenue at 225-219-2700. Additional Resources: LA Citizens Emergency Assessment Calculation LA Citizens Reasons For Assessment

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New Minimum Liability Limits for Louisiana Auto Insurance; Bodily Injury Limits of Up To $15,000 for One Person, $30,000 for More Than One Person

Beginning January 1, 2010, the minimum Liability limits for Louisiana auto insurance will be 15/30/25 upon renewal or new application of a Louisiana automobile insurance policy. This mandatory insurance pays for property damages or personal injury for which you may be legally responsible. The old minimum limits required car owners to carry 10/20/10 Liability limits. The new limits provide payments of $15,000 for Bodily Injury to one person, $30,000 for Bodily Injury to more than one person in a single accident, and $25,000 coverage for damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property. Insurance premiums are expected to increase for those who only carry the minimum limits. Additional Resources: Car Insurance Premiums to Rise for Many Louisiana Drivers  

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