Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, at approximately 12:55 pm (ET) on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Ida’s arrival comes 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. Ida wreaked havoc as a dangerous Category 4 storm, battering the coast, leaving a life-threatening storm surge in its path and millions without power.
As Ida destroys southeast Louisiana, please note that Louisiana has the strongest bad-faith insurance protection laws in the country. If your first-party insurance claim related to Hurricane Ida losses is denied or delayed, contact the Karam Law Office for assistance. We will help you provide “satisfactory proof of loss” and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
As Hurricane Ida began to take shape, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued extreme wind warnings and the potential for catastrophic flooding. Prior to the storm even reaching the Southeastern Louisiana coast, the NWS told residents of coastal communities to take shelter as they expected the storm surge to reach an estimated 16 feet.
The storm maintained maximum sustained winds of 150 mph as it made landfall. Hours after coming onshore, Ida was still designated a devastating Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 125 mph.
She would weaken throughout Sunday night into Monday morning, leaving in her wake unimaginable damage. The entire city of New Orleans would eventually be left without power, and an untold number of survivors would be left stranded until conditions improved for search and rescue missions.
While it may take weeks to assess the full extent of damages related to Hurricane Ida, there are some common losses that are experienced by property owners after a catastrophic storm. High winds can cause roofs to be torn from houses and buildings, fallen trees can total vehicles, and a storm surge can result in complete property loss.
Damages related to Hurricane Ida are currently estimated at $40 million, with many homeowners in her path without power. Downed power lines have made it difficult to assess the situation. In Ida’s aftermath, it is likely a long recovery for a heavy hit Louisiana coastline that experienced a record storm season in 2020, including losses related to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta. As many storm survivors have experienced, insurance companies routinely deny or downplay claims after a hurricane. If your valid claim for losses is rejected, you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Business owners and homeowners who have suffered losses related to Hurricane Ida should file a first-party insurance claim to obtain compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always pay out these claims. If your insurance claim is denied or your payout is delayed, you may need legal representation in order to obtain the money you are owed.
When an insurance provider fails to pay a valid claim for losses, they must be held accountable. Louisiana law provides statutory damages of 50%, plus attorneys fees for all payments made (or payments that should have been made) after 30 days of “satisfactory proof of loss.”
Additionally, if the payment on a claim is 60 days or more late, you may be entitled to recover damages related to your mental anguish as well as pain and suffering.
After Hurricane Katrina, changes were made to Louisiana law to protect individuals and businesses in the event of catastrophic loss. Insurers have a duty of good faith and fair dealing. They must make reasonable efforts to settle claims promptly and fairly. Bad faith may include making material or misleading misrepresentations, failing to pay a settlement timely, or denying coverage without justification.
The key to this form of litigation is establishing “satisfactory proof of loss.” Satisfactory proof of loss requires the insured to provide sufficient information for the insurer to act on the claim. The insurance provider must then act on the claim within 30 days of loss notification. If an insurer’s failure to act or make timely payment on a valid claim is found to be “arbitrary, capricious or without probable cause,” they can be held accountable for damages.
At the Karam Law Office, we have extensive experience representing individuals and throughout Louisiana. We have obtained favorable outcomes for victims who have suffered losses as a result of recent hurricanes that have hit southwest Louisiana.
We will work hard, so our brothers and sisters in Louisiana receive adequate resources and just compensation to rebuild their community. We are here for you and will do everything we can to help you recover. If you have property damage related to Hurricane Ida or another storm and your insurance provider is delaying or denying your claim, contact our office immediately at (914) 368-7168.