What is the Bad Faith Law in Louisiana?

When an insurance company fails to fulfill its obligations to the policyholder in a fair and reasonable manner, it may mean it is acting in bad faith. Louisiana Revised Statute § 22:1973 governs the practices insurance companies must follow regarding their good faith obligations. Specifically, insurance providers have a duty of good faith to adjust and pay claims fairly and promptly after a homeowner files a claim. 

Louisiana bad faith laws are in place to protect homeowners if an insurance company refuses to pay or delays the full payment of a valid insurance claim. If you believe you are a victim of bad faith insurance law practices, contact us right away at Kandell, Kandell & Petrie for help.

What to Know About Bad Faith Demands

As is the case with all legal proceedings, you must gather evidence and be able to demonstrate wrong-doing on the part of your insurance provider if you need to make a bad faith demand against your insurance company. Good documentation is key as is partnering with an experienced insurance law attorney.  

Proving bad faith in Louisiana involves demonstrating that the insurer failed to fulfill its obligations to you, the policyholder, in a reasonable and fair manner. Here are a few examples of bad faith practices and steps you can take to prove bad faith.

  • Failing to investigate promptly – Insurers must promptly and thoroughly investigate claims. If an insurer fails to investigate a claim in a timely manner or ignores crucial evidence supporting the claim, it can be evidence of bad faith. In Louisiana, insurers have 30 days to make a determination about a claim. 
  • Unreasonably denying benefits – If the insurance company denies a valid claim without a reasonable basis, it could be considered bad faith. This might include misinterpreting policy language, applying exclusions in an unreasonable manner, or ignoring facts that support the claim.
  • Offering a lowball amount – Offering substantially less than the value of the claim without a valid reason for doing so can indicate bad faith. Insurers are expected to make fair and reasonable offers based on the policy terms and the extent of the covered loss.
  • Delaying payments – Unreasonable delays in processing or paying a valid claim can be evidence of bad faith. Insurers are required to handle claims promptly and efficiently.
  • Misrepresenting information – Providing false or misleading information to the policyholder regarding coverage, benefits, or the claims process can constitute bad faith.

To prove bad faith, it’s crucial to document all communications with your insurance company. Hang on to letters, emails, texts and claim documentation. Keep records of phone calls and any other interactions you have with your provider. It can also be useful to gather third-party opinions from experts such as engineers or contractors. These experts can provide insights into the damages and the insurer’s handling of the claim, which can strengthen your case.

Contact Us at Kandell, Kandell & Petrie for Help

To learn more about bad faith demands in Louisiana and ask your questions about insurance law, contact our team at Kandell, Kandell & Petrie. We have more than 50 years of combined legal expertise and are here to ensure you receive the relief you deserve for your insurance claim in New Orleans and throughout the state of Louisiana.