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Important points about wedding cancellation insurance coverage

With wedding season in full swing here in Louisiana, most couples are arguably concerned about making sure dresses are completed and fitted correctly, that photographers and wedding coordinators are on the same page, and that their wedding venues will be all that they were promised.

With the multitude of things to keep track of, wedding insurance is often overlooked. Indeed, most wedding venues require parties to purchase some form insurance to guard against liability if a guest is hurt or destroys property, or unforeseen instances that require the wedding to be cancelled.

What can happen with outdated ITVs

Naturally, when a homeowner or business owner purchases an insurance policy, it is with the expectation that they will have proper coverage should a disaster strike and inflict severe damage to their property or interrupt business operations.

Most polices are purchased and valued based on the Insurance to Value (ITV) assigned to the property. This is an estimate of the coverage needed to bring a property back to its previous state after being damaged. Because of this, the accuracy of the ITV is key when a claim is issued, and disputes may arise when an ITV is less than what is required.

Tips for testifying in a deposition

In the abstract, testifying in a deposition setting is simple. You pledge to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; basically meaning that you promise not to lie or distort the truth. Also, there is no courtroom full of people or a group of jurors staring at you and hanging on your every word.  

However, there is a certain irony in testifying in depositions because the attorney asking you questions is attempting to project a version of the truth that fits their client’s best interests.

Flood insurance premiums to rise again

Hurricane season in our region is still a few months away, but homeowners are already feeling the costs of potential flooding from severe storms. Federal officials recently announced that insurance premiums for flood protection will increase this year.

According to a recent claimsjournal.com report, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said premiums will increase about eight percent. In monetary terms, the average flood insurance policy will cost $935.00 per year, which is up from last year’s average of $866.00. Combined with surcharges that some homeowners will be required to pay, an average premium will cost $1,062.00.

Chinese drywall cases being transferred back to states

The Chinese Drywall cases that became ubiquitous with construction defect cases are now being transferred back to the federal districts that they were once filed in. According to a recent claimsjournal.com report, the U.S. Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation indicated that in thousands of such cases would be returned to their respective districts. In fact, the first 1,700 of such cases are scheduled to be returned to Florida’s federal courts if no objections were filed before the established period ends.

Chinese Drywall cases were first assigned to Judge Eldon Fallon in 2009. In 2010, he ruled that the drywall released sulfur into homes where it was installed, which sickened occupants, caused corrosion problems with appliances, plumbing and wiring in addition to creating awful smells in homes.

The benefits of mandatory arbitration agreements

It may go without saying that businesses want to stay out of court, especially when it comes to defending against employee-based claims. Whether it is a dispute over wages or work conditions, or even sexual harassment and discrimination claims, protracted litigation not only detracts from a business’ bottom line, it could also harm future business relationships.

These arguably are reasons why more employers are including mandatory arbitration agreements into their employment contracts. An example of such a clause recently made headlines when such agreement prevented an employee from New Orleans from pursuing sexual harassment and discrimination claims against Waffle House in court.

What employees may say before litigation may hurt them

It is natural for employees to be upset after being dismissed from a job. Despite the raw emotions a recently terminated employee may have, Louisiana law gives employers wide discretion in their ability to remove employees.

Indeed, it would be naïve to believe that every employer follows the law, and that wrongful terminations never occur, but this does not give employees the right to defame their former employer on social media. Suffice it to say, disgruntled employees may sabotage their own cases through social media rants.

Should you pay to settle a lawsuit or fight to a verdict?

Litigation, like war, is supposed to be the means of last resort to resolve disputes. Indeed, war has many more permanent consequences, but they have some similar implications. Both cost an exorbitant amount of money, and both cause a great deal of pain and animosity among the combatants.

For small businesses, protracted litigation can be devastating to one’s bottom line. This is why “nuisance” lawsuits are so troubling. The scenario commonly goes like this: a larger company brings a complaint that is essentially baseless, but is legally sufficient in fact and law to avoid a motion to dismiss. However, in order to defeat the claim, it may take tens of thousands of dollars in litigation and the prospect of receiving attorney’s fees upon prevailing is remote. So the business owner has to make a decision: do you pay now to make the claim go away, or do you fight (based on principle) so that you are not picked on again?

Coverage for interruptions critical for businesses

In the midst of news about the government shutdown being resolved, not much news is being devoted to the state of the economy. This is probably good news for businesses looking to take advantage of the new tax reform law, and it is also a sign that the economy is in good shape.

But even in sound economic times, businesses must prepare for when problems arise, because no one can predict when disasters will strike. That is why insurance policies and contingency plans are increasingly important. 

Children's electronic maker settles with the FTC

As data analytics become increasingly important for businesses, the collection of data has become a standard of operation. It has become such a mainstream that even electronic toys created for children may be programmed to collect personal information that could be used for future marketing and analysis. However, this information may be collected without obtaining parental permission, which could lead to significant liability.

According to a recent businessinsurance.com report, Hong Kong based toymaker VTech agreed to settle charges raised by the U.S. Department of Justice that it failed to obtain verifiable consent from parents before collecting information about children who use their products. Essentially, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that VTech’s Kid Connect application collected personal information from hundreds thousands of children without parental consent or even notifying parents that such information was being collected. 

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