How Long Do I Have to Wait for My Insurance Claim to be Adjusted?

November 2, 2021 Announcements and Law Updates

How Long Do I Have to Wait for My Insurance Claim to be Adjusted?

 Because of the massive nature of the damage inflicted to Louisiana residents by Hurricane Ida, insurance companies have been given extra time to initiate insurance property claim adjustments. Payment of claims will still depend on when sufficient proof of loss is provided.

Normally, under Louisiana law (see La. Rev. Stat. 22:1892(A)(3)) an insurer is required to initiate loss adjustment of a property damage claim or of a claim for reasonable medical expenses within 14 days after notification of the claim. For property loss claims, more time is given for what are called “catastrophic losses” like a hurricane. When dealing with catastrophic losses, an insurance company is required to initiate loss adjustment of a property damage claim within 30 days after the policyholder notifies the insurance company of the claim. Note that there is no extra time for initiating claims adjustments for medical-related claims even if the medical claims are related to a catastrophic event.

However, under the statute, the Louisiana Department of Insurance has the power to grant extra time for initiating property damage claim adjustments. And, that has happened with respect to Hurricane Ida. On August 26, 2021 or so, the Department of Insurance issued Emergency Rule 47 which was issued “… to address the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida and its aftermath that has created emergency conditions threatening the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Louisiana who are insureds and who either reside in or have insured property” located in parts of Louisiana where a State of Emergency has been declared. Emergency Rule 47 applies to the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

With respect to claims adjustments for property damage, Emergency Rule 47 gives insurance companies an additional 30 days for them to initiate loss adjustment of a property claim after notification. This gives insurance companies a total of 60 days to initiate loss adjustment. The Department of Insurance has granted the additional time based on the large volume of claims that have resulted directly from Hurricane Ida and its aftermath. While granting the additional time, the Department of Insurance has warned insurance companies that they “must continue to provide timely service to their insured claimants by promptly acknowledging receipt of claims and making appropriate assignments for the adjustment of claims.”

Note that Emergency Rule 47 does NOT provide an insurance company additional time for initiating claims adjustments for medical-related claims. Those must still be initiated within 14 days.

Note also that the pre-Hurricane Ida rules for making payments have not changed. Under the Louisiana statutes, insurance companies are required to “… make a written offer to settle any property damage claim, including a third-party claim, within 30 days after receipt of satisfactory proof of loss of that claim.” Under normal circumstances, that time is flexible since it depends on the insurance company receiving “satisfactory proofs of loss.” That can take some time. As noted, Emergency Rule 47 makes no change to this statutory provision.

Our Attorneys Can Help

For more information, contact the Louisiana insurance claims and personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.