The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner has issued Rule 22 for Hurricane Ida which allows policyholders an opportunity to mediate disputes with underwriters for claims up to $50,000. This is a streamlined approach where each side submits a position paper and meets with an assigned mediator at no cost to the insured. Notice of this program and
Hurricane Ida brought strong winds, flooding, and mass destruction along the Louisiana coast. Although the Gulf South is no stranger to hard-hitting storms, each disaster brings a new set of obstacles for property owners and homeowners.
With the recovery process underway, many residents are still struggling to find the resources needed to rebuild or protect…
Piecing things back together following a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Ida, can be a time-consuming and stressful process for individuals and companies alike.
For those in the maritime industry, there are a number of unique factors to be mindful of when assessing the extent and scope of damage. Below are some helpful tips from Jones Walker’s maritime emergency and casualty response team for responding to an emergency:
Vessels are vital for the movement of people and property (cargo) over inland waters, across blue water, and in support of offshore energy operations in post-Ida recovery. During post-Ida salvage and repair operations, vessels are necessary. Ida resulted in the destruction of terminals, docks, and platforms and also resulted in vessels “breaking away” from their moorings and sustaining heavy damages.
Vessels are hired, rented, or leased under the terms and conditions of charter parties and Master Service Agreements, which dictate the use, warranties, obligations, and allocation of risks between the parties. Understanding the basic structure of a vessel hire is important, just as when we rent a car or truck for personal or business purposes.
Following a major hurricane or other extreme weather event, vessel owners and operators may face liability for failure to perform their agreed contracts or for liability arising from an allision or collision. When such major hurricanes strike, to escape liability, vessel owners and operators may take advantage of two doctrines: (1) force majeure; and (2) the inevitable accident/ Act of God defense. Below we explain those doctrines and the burden of proof for each.
Continue Reading Hurricanes and Act of God Defenses
In a recent case, Judge Barry Ashe gave a thorough summary of the Louisiana law for claims against insurance brokers for failing to obtain coverage for COVID-19 government mandated shutdowns. B&P Rest. Grp., LLC v. Eagan Ins. Agency, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88330 (E.D. La. May 10, 2021).
The case is instructive for both insureds and brokers because it emphasizes the need for a clear statement by the insured of what coverage it is requesting and a clear statement by the broker of what coverage it has obtained.
Commercial enterprises doing business in Texas and surrounding states are beginning their recovery from recent power outages and associated water damage. Many face significant property losses, often accompanied by business income losses due to a complete cessation of business activities. Many business owners had the foresight to purchase business interruption insurance; however, the complexity of a business interruption claim, coupled with demands on operating capital, creates a difficult scenario for business owners. Jones Walker is ready to assist clients in navigating this process, and we offer the following “golden rules” to provide some guidance in the preparation of business interruption insurance claims.
Continue Reading Golden Rules for Preparing a Business Interruption Claim
Commercial enterprises doing business in Louisiana are beginning their recovery in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Many face catastrophic property losses, often accompanied by business income losses due to a complete cessation of business activities. Fortunately, many business owners have had the foresight to contract for business interruption insurance (also called “business income” insurance or time-element coverage). While having coverage offers some relief to affected businesses, the complexity of a business interruption claim coupled with a pressing need for operating capital creates a difficult scenario for business owners. Jones Walker is ready to assist clients in navigating this process, and we offer the following “golden rules” to provide some guidance in the preparation of business interruption insurance claims.
Continue Reading Golden Rules of Preparing a Business Interruption Claim
As businesses attempt to navigate the post-COVID-19 landscape, one issue of concern is the possibility of claims for alleged COVID-19 exposure being brought by both customers and employees. These concerns have been complicated by the often conflicting guidance or requirements being placed on businesses from local, state, and federal governments or agencies. While there is ongoing discussion at the federal level of legislation to provide some liability protections for businesses in certain circumstances, several states are stepping into the void and enacting legislation of their own. Louisiana has now followed Oklahoma, North Carolina, and several other states in enacting legislation that grants liability protections for businesses from these type of claims.
Continue Reading New Louisiana Law Grants COVID-19 Liability Protection to Businesses