New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-11-29 18:30:00 –
State Farm policyholders who fled Hurricane Aida from a parish that did not issue a forced evacuation order should not immediately expect a state-ordered repayment of short-term living expenses.
Lawyers are arguing over who decides if an insurance company needs to pay – a regulatory court or a state district court.
Louisiana insurance commissioner Jim Donelon said in September the policyholder’s hotel, gasoline and meals evacuated from 25 parishes before Aida, whether or not they had a formal evacuation order from the insurance company. I ordered you to bear the cost of.
State Farm, which accounts for about 26% of the Louisiana insurance market, said when Donneron ordered insurance companies to abandon the wording of a policy to limit evacuation claims to those subject to evacuation orders. He refused to comply with the order, claiming that he had exceeded his legal authority.
But that question remains unanswered, perhaps for months, while organizing which entity should make the decision.
Dioceses where residents were denied evacuation funds from State Farm without issuing a forced evacuation order include all or part of John the Baptist, Orleans, Jefferson, Tangipahoa, Livingston, and St. Tammany.
In late September, State Farm challenged the validity of the Louisiana Administrative Law Department’s directives. This is the Baton Rouge Quasi-Judiciary Court, which resolves disagreements between government agencies and their regulators.
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Lawyers from both the Insurance Department and State Farm appeared in front of Administrative Law Judge Patrick Moore in mid-November and held the first face-to-face hearing of the case, but the benefits of Directive 218 are controversial. There was no.
Instead, lawyers spent almost an hour sparring about whether the administrative law department was the right place to hear the case.
The insurance bureau, represented by lawyer J. Cullens Jr., has called for the insurer’s allegations to dismiss the request for a State Farm hearing, saying it relates to constitutional and statutory issues outside the scope of the department. I did.
“State Farm requires this court to interpret the legislative and constitutional provisions that define the breadth of commissioner’s powers and legal powers to act. This is essentially a purely unregulated issue. “Carrence, a partner at Walters’ Baton Rouge Law Office, said. , Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC write in briefings.
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Instead, you should hear the complaint in the 19th District Court of Justice in Baton Rouge, which the Insurance Department claims.
However, State Farm has filed a constitutional objection, alleging that the Insurance Department has built its own briefing, “a Straumann that can be dispatched through laws and discussions that simply do not apply to the actual problems presented by the state.” Said not. Farm hearing request. “
Instead, William Shea, a lawyer at State Farm at the Baton Rouge office of Adams & Reese LLP based in New Orleans, argued that this was a regulatory issue within the jurisdiction of the department.
“The Directive was issued by the Regulatory Authority: Commissioner Donelon. It is addressed to the entity he regulates … it was issued in the context of regulation and in accordance with the statutory authorities issuing the directive set in code. “Shea said at the hearing on November 17th. “The only way he can issue that directive is if it is allowed by the code.”
“So, was the question that State Farm asked this court basically a regulatory decision by the Commissioner to issue a valid directive under the law? And I think it was obviously not.” Shea said.
In its briefing, the Insurance Department admitted that State Farm did not directly claim that the directive was unconstitutional. However, Mr. Karence pointed out that the insurance company referred to the US and Louisiana constitutions “more than five times” in its first hearing petition.
“State Farm attempts to re-characterize, but if you do, your honor basically needs to address the question of whether the commissioner has the legal authority to issue a directive, so basically. Unconstitutional attire disguises this constitutional issue in the first place 218, your honor has no jurisdiction over the subject, “Carrence said.
It’s unclear when Moore will rule on when State Farm can continue its challenge in the administrative court. For the time being, a stay was issued to prevent the State Farm from being fined or penalized for violating the directive.
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Waiting for State Farm to reimburse you for Ida evacuation expenses? That could be awhile | News Source link Waiting for State Farm to reimburse you for Ida evacuation expenses? That could be awhile | News