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State sets up mediation program to resolve Hurricane Ida insurance disputes

2 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, October 19 2021 Oct 19, 2021 October 19, 2021 6:40 PM October 19, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Parts of Kenneth Mcknight's home on Myrtle Street in Baton Rouge was damaged by Hurricane Ida. Mcknight said the home has been in his family for generations.

"Having been here almost all of my life I've been through several storms. It's one of those things where you stay prayed up," he said.

Mcknight's leaning on his faith for the recovery of his community, but many homeowners are now stuck with another fight. This time it's up against their insurance companies over damage claims relating to Hurricane Ida.

"Some people get lost in transition as to their interpretation of what their insurance is and the company's interpretation of what their insurance is and what it covers," Mcknight said.

It is why the state announced a new mediation program Tuesday. And it's available to policyholders and can help with residential insurance claims of up to $50,000.

Anyone who thinks their providers are shortchanging them on damage costs can reach out to the state insurance department.

"It's a voluntary program that we've structured with the help of two mediation services in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas," Louisiana's Insurance Commissioner, Jim Donelon, said.

Here's how it will work:

The insurer or homeowner can make a written request for mediation. Either party can choose to either accept or reject.

The mediator will then have 30 days to set the date for mediation.

Mediation will last up to 90 minutes.

Upon an agreement, the insurer then has 10 days to pay the policyholder.

"I think these programs they're instituting is great because some people otherwise wouldn't have a recourse to regain what they've lost," Mcknight said.

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