The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James Donelon learned something from his Republican counterpart Deeia Beck at the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel. Ms. Beck represents the interest of Texas consumers in insurance matters. Therefore, she has created a nifty online tool allowing Texas policyholders to compare coverages for homeowners, automobile, renters and condo insurance. The tool helps consumers compare insurance company policies so that consumers will know what is covered and excluded such as plumbing leaks, mold testing and remediation and foundation damage. If the consumers own policy does not favorably compare to another company, the consumer can then consider switching to another insurance company providing the desired insurance coverage. Mr. Donelon created a similar online tool for Louisiana policyholders.
For Louisiana Homeowners, it is important to understand when and how your homeowners insurance company can or cannot cancel or refuse to renew your policy. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHY If your insurance company decides it wants to cancel or not renew your policy, you have the right to know why. If you make a written request for the reason of cancellation, the company must respond within six months and specify in writing the reason for the cancellation or refusal to renew. Any insurer cancelling or refusing to renew a policy providing property, casualty, or liability insurance on any property shall, upon written request of the policy’s named insured, specify in writing the reason or reasons for such cancellation or refusal to renew. Such request shall be mailed or delivered to the insurer within six months after the effective date of cancellation or expiration. LSA-R.S. 22:1265 A (1) NO CANCELLATION FOR ACTS OF GOD You should be aware that your insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the amount of the premium on your homeowners policy based solely on a loss caused by an “Act of God.” An “Act of God” is defined as an incident due directly to natural causes and exclusively without human intervention. However, the company may make such changes to your policy due to an “Act of God” if they make the changes on an area-wide rating basis at the beginning of a new policy period. REASONS FOR CANCELLATION, NONPAYMENT OF PREMIUM, FRAUD, […]
In a recent case, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit affirmed a judgment in favor of a Baptist Church that caught fire, damaging a structure that had not been used for worship services since previous damage resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The plaintiffs, a property investment company and an insurance company, sued the church, alleging negligence for inattentiveness in maintaining the property. After a jury returned a verdict in favor of the church, the plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. These motions were denied, and the plaintiffs appealed. At trial, the plaintiffs argued that the church was negligent for failing to maintain their property in a safe and secure manner, resulting in a defect in the premises, which led to an unreasonable risk of harm. They relied on direct and circumstantial evidence, including witnesses who claimed that the wooden pews and a hole in the roof created a fire hazard. The complaints also stated that the building was in disrepair and had been adjudged a public nuisance, and it was cited as a blighted property by the City of New Orleans. Trial testimony centered on potential causes of the fire. An inspector with the New Orleans Fire Department testified that the origins and cause of the fire were undetermined. Testimony also included witnesses claiming that homeless people could squeeze through openings to enter the church property, although they admitted upon cross-examination that they did not see homeless people inside […]
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal recently affirmed a judgment in favor of a condo association regarding their liability for fire damage to the interior of a condo unit. The association argued that they had provided notice of the requirement that all condo owners purchase their own insurance for unit interiors, as stated in their Rules and Regulations. But the condo owner, Mrs. Lourie, argued that the association or the insurer should be held liable for the damages from a fire. After a fire in the kitchen damaged the interior of Mrs. Lourie’s condo unit, her insurer paid $28,200.00 for damages to her unit, plus $34,330.07 for damages to the contents of her unit, and an award of $16, 645.88 for living expenses. Mrs. Lourie filed a petition for damages against the association and its insurer. She argued that under the Louisiana Condominium Act, her condo association or the insurer must reimburse her for the payments her insurance company made to her or on her behalf, and must pay her additional damages sustained to her condo that were not covered under own insurance policy. In the alternative, Mrs. Lourie argued that her condo association was liable for negligence and breach of duty if they did not obtain the insurance coverage provided by the Louisiana Condominium Act.