Governor signs law assuring homeowners the right to a private adjuster for property insurance claims

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Governor Edwards signs a bill that assures homeowners the right to hire a public adjuster to handle their property insurance claims. St. Bernard Parish Republican Representative Ray Garafalo is the House sponsor of the bill. He says the new law serves notice to insurers that their customers DO have the right to a third-party assessment of one’s damage…:

“I don’t want to paint with a broad brush, but we have seen – in some cases – that the adjuster assigned by the insurance company is either inexperienced or has motivation to protect the insurance company.”

Garafalo’s bill had a senate companion; filed by New Orleans Democrat Senator Royce Duplessis. The two bills were merged together before final passage. Garafalo says this is big step in assuring consumer rights in property claims…:

“You have the ability now to bring in a third party that will say ‘hey, we think THIS is the actual claim amount and THIS is the damage’ and then you’ll have some evidence that you can use to argue with the insurance company.”

In recent years, over a dozen insurance companies have either closed up shop or quit writing new coverage in Louisiana; leaving thousands with few or no options for affordable coverage. Garafalo says the bill is not overly onerous on insurers, and was part of a package of bills aimed at easing the state’s property insurance crisis…:

“Over-arching goal, number one, is to stabilize the market. The second goal is to bring rates down…and of course part of all of that is to have some reasonable consumer protections in the law.”

The law takes effect on August 1st.

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