Louisiana Bad Faith Insurance Litigation
What is Bad Faith?
How do I know if my insurance company is acting in bad faith?
Insurance companies may act in bad faith by failing to:
Settle a claim in a reasonable amount of time
Thoroughly investigate a claim
Misrepresenting Policy Provisions and applicable law
Offer the full value of a claim
Provide reasoning for denying a claim
Filing a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Louisiana
Louisiana allows policyholders to file a claim against insurers for bad faith tactics if you can prove certain elements
Under La. R.S. 22:1892 and 22:1973, insurance companies owe their policyholders a duty of good faith and fair dealing. La. R.S. 22:1892 provides in part that an insurer must pay amounts of any claim within thirty days after the receipt of a satisfactory proofs of loss from the insured or any party in interest. Furthermore, all insurers shall make a written offer to settle any property damage claim within thirty days after receipt of satisfactory proofs of loss of that claim. The penalty under La. R.S. 22:1892 being fifty percent of what was owed or $1,000 whichever is greater (under certain circumstances) as well as reasonable attorneys fees. Likewise La. R.S. 22:1973 provides in part a failure to pay within sixty days after satisfactory proof of loss is provided or any number of specifically enumerated misdeeds of insurers will subject the insurer to penalties of double damages or five thousand dollars whichever is greater.
These bad faith provisions often apply in a claim for homeowners insurance or commercial insurance proceeds. Sometimes an insured's claim is simply not handled properly. The mishandling of a claim can be as part of a generalized corporate insurer policy or the insured has the misfortune of running into the wrong adjuster. Insurance claim adjusters are often limited by restrictive claims processing guidelines designed to cut costs for an insurance company. In other cases, less reputable insurance companies sold policies to good people with limited means with no intention of really paying when the insurance proceeds are needed. They count on the insured in not getting help from a lawyer. The end result is the claim handling reaches the level of bad faith claim practices.
Need More Information?
If you feel you may be the victim of bad faith, contact the Venegas Law Firm today for a free consultation.