Hurricanes are an unfortunate part of life for Louisiana residents, with many of these storms producing heavy winds, large hail and flooding. This often results in property damage that requires you to file an insurance claim.
A recent change to the insurance claim process involves the enactment of the Louisiana Department of Insurance Hurricane Mediation Program. The program was established on January 1, 2023, with the purpose of resolving property damage claims in a faster, easier and cheaper manner.
Mediation is not required, but it has any benefits
The mediation program is voluntary. However, there are many reasons why you may want to consider participating. Your claim will likely be resolved faster, you will save money and you will probably be happier with the outcome.
Additionally, mediation is often less stressful and less formal than traditional litigation. It involves a meeting with you, the insurance company and a mediator. You both get a chance to discuss your situation and the mediator asks questions and provides guidance.
If you and the insurance company cannot agree, the mediator does not take sides. Knowing this, you are less likely to argue your case to the mediator and more likely to have a discussion with the insurance representative.
Mediation program requirements
You must meet certain requirements to participate in the mediation program. The governor must have declared a state of emergency and your property must be in the state of emergency area.
You can request mediation if your property damage claim involves a disputed amount of up to $150,000. You can still mediate if your claim is over this amount, but the insurance company must also agree to the mediation.
Although you are not required to have an attorney at mediation, you can choose to if you want. This can help you feel more confident that any resolution is in your best interest.