When and how an insurance company can cancel a homeowners insurance policy is a common concern of Louisiana homeowners, especially after a major hurricane has wreaked havoc in your area. Having your insurance policy canceled or premiums raised is a scary thought because it would put many homeowners in jeopardy of losing their homes in the event of a disaster.
An insurance company can’t cancel your policy because you made a claim for hurricane damage. There are, however, other reasons that an insurance company can cancel or not renew your policy, BUT Louisiana law states that the insurance company must provide you with a written explanation as to why they dropped you or raised your rates upon your request.
When Can An Insurance Company Cancel My Policy or Raise My Rates?
Louisiana Revised Statutes 22: 1336 states that “No insurer shall cancel, fail to renew, or increase the amount of the premium, except upon an area-wide rating basis at the beginning of a new policy period, on a homeowner’s policy of insurance based solely upon a loss caused by an “Act of God”.
An “Act of God” or “Act of Nature” is an event that occurred due to natural circumstances beyond the homeowner’s control. Hurricanes certainly fall into this category. The law does not apply to home damage caused by manmade disasters.
In addition, RS 22: 1265 states that “No insurer providing property, casualty, or liability insurance shall cancel or fail to renew a homeowner’s policy of insurance or to increase the policy deductible that has been in effect and renewed for more than three years,” However, a policy can still be canceled if the homeowner:
- Fails to pay their premiums;
- Tries to defraud the insurance company;
- Makes material changes in the risk being insured; or
- Has made two or more claims within a period of three years,
An insurance company can also cancel the policy if its continuation threatens the solvency of the insurance company.
Also note, unlike RS 22: 1336, RS 22: 1265 does not prohibit an insurance company from increasing the amount of the premium. The “two or more claims” clause does not apply to claims made for damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes. So, if you filed a claim in March for damage caused by a kitchen fire and filed a second claim the following September for hurricane damage, the second claim wouldn’t count as a strike against you — your policy and rates should be protected.
If Your Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith, Get Legal Help
There are many ways insurance companies behave in bad faith after a hurricane. These include:
- Failure to investigate a claim in a timely manner
- Lack of communications
- Unwarranted delays
- Ignoring damage
- Undervaluing hurricane damage
- Misrepresenting policy terms
- Making unreasonable requests for documentation and information
When an insurance company acts in bad faith, the New Orleans hurricane insurance attorneys at JJC Law are here to fight to protect your rights.
Our attorneys have many years of experience representing individual and corporate policyholders in hurricane-related insurance claim disputes. Our vast knowledge and legal skills enable us to effectively negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain the full value of your hurricane damage claim.
We offer a free initial consultation to new clients and provide our services on a contingency basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless you recover. Call us today at (504) 513-8820 or contact us online to discuss your claim now.