Sue your insurance company now!
Another little bird gave me a preview of what will be heard on tomorrow's Community Gumbo, which airs on WTUL, 91.5 FM. A couple of local bloggers who are struggling to have their Hurricane Katrina insurance claims settled will air their grievances, and advice will be provided by attorneys from Southeast Legal Services and the Loyola Law Clinic.
Community Gumbo presents Democracy Now between 8 and 9 a.m., and local features between 9 and 10 a.m., every Saturday. Audio is archived, so if you can't listen in at that time, you can always go to the Community Gumbo Web site to hear previously-broadcasted features.
For those who can't wait, I can offer the following advice provided by La. State Sen. Julie Quinn, who was interviewed on WWL yesterday.
The bottom line: If you don't have a check in your hand from your insurance company yet, get an attorney and SUE!
You might think your insurance company is working in good faith. They might tell you they're overloaded with claims and short-staffed. Maybe they are ... or maybe they're just stalling until August 28th, after which they legally take your money and run, leaving you on your own with a damaged house.
I know -- it doesn't seem right that you signed a contract and dutifully paid your insurance premiums to protect yourself, only to be screwed by a legal clause which places a time limit on your ability to seek compensation. So don't let yourself be screwed!
Louisiana state law provides that no insurance policy shall allow less than a year after an event to file a lawsuit for unsettled damages. Individual insurance policies may provide longer than a year, so read your policy. But if there's any question at all, be sure to file a lawsuit against your insurance company on or before August 28th.
Even if you got your check, but you'll be working on your house after August 28th, you may still want to file a lawsuit. What happens if you discover that you didn't get enough money from your insurance company to fix your house? You'll have no recourse to sue after the 28th.
You can very easily just drop the lawsuit if you decide you don't need to pursue it. That happens all the time, and there's no penalty for doing so.
Just don't become a victim of your insurance company. The big ones are reporting billions in profits. They don't need any more of your money.
TP - Suit extension deadline looms
TP -- Judge sets Aug. 17 hearing on new insurance deadlines
Michael Homan -- My Testimony Against the Insurance Industry
La. Legislature -- SB 620 signed by Governor Blanco, Act 813
Insurance Journal -- Market Still Fragile as La. Legislature Adjourns, Insurer Group SaysThe Legislature passed a bill (SB 620) that will increase rates for consumers by doubling the penalties assessed against insurers and forcing them to pay the consumer's attorney fees if they fail to pay a claim within 30 days of receiving a valid proof of loss. [No need to read anything else in this article -- it's an industry rag.]
BizNewOrleans -- Disputes follow insurance settlements
Tags: Hurricane Katrina | Katrina | New Orleans | Louisiana | We Are Not OK | Insurance | Homeowner's Insurance | Allstate | State Farm