With the recent hurricanes hitting Louisiana, you may be wondering, how long do you have to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage in Louisiana? The typical resident in the state will have 180 days from the date the hurricane hit to complete the filing process to attempt to receive payment for a hurricane damage claim.
There are some exceptions to this 180-day rule, especially in the face of widespread damage from a hurricane. However, property owners should not rely on receiving an extension to the deadline. Instead, they should always try to do the work within the deadline.
What Is the 180-Day Filing Deadline for Hurricane Damage Claims in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) recommends that those with property damage from a hurricane file the proof of loss with their insurers as early as possible. However, everyone involved understands that sometimes property owners have to delay filing while they try to recover some semblance of normal life.
Those with extensive hurricane damage may not have access to their important paperwork, electrical power, or even communications days and weeks after the storm. A 180-day deadline to file may seem like a long time, but it may not be long enough when faced with these kinds of hardships.
Extensions to the 180-Day Hurricane Damage Rule
Sometimes, people living in areas where hurricanes cause extensive wind damage, and flooding must evacuate those areas. Unfortunately, these mandatory evacuations can last for several weeks or longer, leaving the property owner unable to thoroughly inspect the damage and make a proper claim.
If the damage is severe, Louisiana’s state government may issue a sweeping extension to the deadline for all people living in the affected areas. Otherwise, property owners can appeal individually to their insurance companies for an extension to the deadline.
Setting the Official Deadline to File for Proof of Loss
The LDI will set the official filing deadline after the hurricane. The media reports on the deadline, giving everyone affected the information they need. Should the state decide to extend the 180-day deadline, it will also make this announcement through the LDI.
Understand that you do not have to complete repairs to the property within 180 days. Instead, you simply have to file the claim within the deadline.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
What Should I Do After a Hurricane Causes Damage to My Property?
Once it is safe to visit your Louisiana property after a hurricane, FEMA has a series of steps you should try to follow, including:
- Take photos of any damage to the property, including vehicles
- Create a list of damaged and destroyed items, along with value estimates
- Submit the claim for these items to your insurance company
Understandably, after a hurricane, you may not be able to complete these steps quickly. As a result, you may not be able to determine the full extent of your loss for many weeks. The 180-day filing deadline can help to give you the time you need to assess your situation properly.
Making Temporary Repairs
If you can still occupy your home after hurricane damage, you may need to make temporary repairs to prevent additional damage. Your insurance company should pay for these repairs while you are remaining in the home.
Be sure to keep records of any costs for these temporary repairs. You then can submit those costs as part of the insurance claim for your hurricane property damage. Take photos before and after the repairs to ensure that you have documentation of the temporary repairs, just in case the insurer needs more proof than your receipts provide.
How Quickly Does the Insurer Have to Pay Me for the Hurricane Damage?
According to the LDI, once the insurance company has your claim and has determined that proof of your property loss exists, the insurer has 30 days to make the payment to you. Some insurance companies will make the payment much sooner than this.
However, some other insurance companies may try to drag out the payment process. They may say that you did not submit the correct forms or that you transposed a number in your address, giving them the right to delay your payment.
Seeking Help with Disputes
If you believe your insurance company is purposefully delaying paying your claim, you can file a complaint with the LDI. You also have the right to retain our hurricane damage lawyer to begin representing you in communications with the insurer.
Some insurance companies may suddenly make the payment once you have an attorney. In other cases, should we have evidence that the insurer is violating state law in treating your claim, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Learn More About Your Rights with Insurance Claims for Hurricane Damage By Contact Our Office Today
If you believe your insurance company is operating in bad faith regarding your property damage claim after a Louisiana hurricane, the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to help. Contact our office by calling (337) 777-7777 to receive a free consultation.