Settlements and Payments of Claims

An insurance agency has a specific duty to settle and pay a claim that meets the required standards for an insured damage. This duty is set into motion when the claimant submits what is considered a “satisfactory proof of loss.” In Louisiana, the courts have held that satisfactory proof of loss is to be considered with reference to the relevant law and the policy itself.

In the case of Louisiana, the relevant general substantive law states that reporting requirements are inherently minimal and do not have a high threshold to satisfy. The Second Court of Louisiana has gone so far as to hold that there is no specific or particular form required for such a claim and, in some cases, may even just be simple verbal notification to the insurance agency itself. The basic purpose of the notification requirement by law is to alert the insurer of the facts of the event upon which the claim is being made.

However, when dealing with the proof of loss itself, insurance agencies often place very strict or rigid requirements for the actual means in which a claim is fully reported or demonstrated. While insurance companies may allege certain requirements such as filling out your claim with only their forms, these requirements are subject to the court’s review. Supporting this idea, courts will more often than not prevent insurers from restricting payouts on the basis of a technicality. The fact judicial discretion can settle this issue and that it is not explicitly clear by the word of law, though, makes this an important issue to always be ahead of.

When dealing with an insurance company, it is important to remain vigilant not only with paying premiums on time and following your end of the agreement to the most minor detail, but also with any claim process that should develop. By filling out a claim exactly as proscribed by the insurance agency as well as notifying them of any impending claim when the damage occurs, you begin setting yourself up for a solid claim defense should it be necessary. If the insurance company denies your claim on the grounds that the proper procedure was not followed, however, contact an attorney immediately to review your case.

Call the Berniard Law Firm Toll-Free at 1-866-574-8005 or (504) 527-6225 to have one of our attorneys examine your insurance claim and help you get the financial payout you deserve.

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