People who choose to live or do business in Baton Rouge must remain aware of the dangers the weather can pose, especially during hurricane season.
Even if people obtain insurance policies that protect against hurricane damage, it can be challenging to obtain compensation from insurance companies. If the companies deny a claim that appears to be covered under your insurance policy, they may have acted in bad faith.
Rejecting an insurance claim in bad faith is a violation of state law. The law requires all insurance providers to settle claims fairly and deal with customers in an appropriate matter. However, if you were mistreated by an insurance company, hiring a hurricane damage attorney may be in your best interests. Our team is familiar with Baton Rouge hurricane bad faith insurance claims and can fight to get the compensation you need and deserve.
What it Means to Deny a Claim in Bad Faith
Insurance companies that sell policies to homeowners and businesses enter into a contract. By the terms of these contracts, they agree to pay out compensation to parties who suffer losses in exchange for the receipt of regular premium payments. Unfortunately, hurricanes are situations where insurance companies sometimes refuse to deal in good faith—this is a violation of state law.
According to Louisiana Revised Statute § 22:1973, insurers have a duty under the law to act in good faith towards their insured. This includes duties to fairly adjust claims and to make reasonable attempts to settle claims. The statute also lists a series of behaviors that are per se violations of the duty of good faith. They include:
- Misrepresenting facts concerning coverage
- Failing to pay a settlement within 30 days after the agreement
- Failing to pay the amount of a claim within 60 days of notice of loss when that failure is unreasonable
An experienced attorney can provide more information about Baton Rouge hurricane bad faith insurance claims and take the lead to investigate the actions of insurance companies on your behalf.
Potential Compensation Following the Bad Faith Denial of a Claim
If an insurance company acts in bad faith by failing to provide compensation to customers following hurricane damage, the law says they’re liable to those customers. Specifically, the law says they’re liable for any damages a customer suffers as the result of the breach. This can include payments for any lost property value resulting from the hurricane itself and compensation for lost value that results from a delay.
Courts also have the authority to issue enhanced compensation to affected customers. This can be double the amount of damages that a customer sustains or $5,000, whichever is greater. A local lawyer can help impacted people and businesses to pursue these forms of compensation following a bad faith dealing with an insurance company. This can include seeking compensation through settlements or lawsuits.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Baton Rouge Hurricane Bad Faith Insurance Claim
All insurance companies have a duty to deal with their customers under the rules of good faith. They must properly represent their policies’ coverage, make reasonable efforts to pay out legitimate claims, and issue payments within a reasonable timeframe following a settlement.
Unfortunately, failures to meet these standards after hurricane damage are common. Insurance companies may allege that the damage is not included under a policy or drag their feet after they receive a claim. If these actions constitute a bad faith action by an insurance company, an attorney in Baton Rouge can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today to get started.