After Katrina the state of Louisiana increased the time to file a legal challenge to a claim from one year to two. The argument being that there were delays and people, arguably, weren’t ready to settle after just one year. I don’t have a problem with that as many states have two year statutes of limitation for many types of litigation. A group called Katrina Justice is suing the state to get the limitation extended once again.
According to Rebecca Mowbray at the NO Times Picayune (reg. req),
A New Orleans nonprofit group has filed lawsuits urging Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon to extend the deadline for resolving hurricane insurance claims beyond Aug. 29.
Katrina Justice filed the suits last week in Baton Rouge and New Orleans because it says that with the recovery going slowly, contractors in short supply and many people still waiting on Road Home money, most homeowners are not far enough along in rebuilding to know if their insurance checks were adequate.
This type of thinking is a big problem for the insurance industry in the short-run. Insurance payments are almost never adequate. Can money ever properly replace a dead loved-one or a lost family home full of fond memories? No. The question is whether the claim is paid properly according to the contract.
By now, just short of the two year anniversary, one should know if one has a true legal dispute over a claim. If one doesn’t, it is easy to sue to preserve rights.
In the long-run, this type of thinking is a big problem for consumers of insurance. If insurers are supposed to pay “adequate compensation” in addition to their contractual obligations, then they will just mosey on down the road. (How’s that for a technical insurance term?)