Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
New Iberia
Service, Integrity, Results

Louisiana's standard for bad faith insurance claims is different

Much of the time, insurance companies that are sued for acting in bad faith are eager to defend themselves in court. To do so, it may be necessary to hire an attorney. A lawyer experienced in defending bad faith insurance claims can examine the evidence and refute the claim, or otherwise advocate on the insurer’s behalf.

What must a person whose insurance claim was denied do to convince the court that the denial was in bad faith? As in other legal areas, the law in Louisiana is somewhat different than in other parts of the United States.

Most states require that the plaintiff show that the insurance company acted with some combination of negligence -- that is, with substandard but unintentional conduct -- and intentional misconduct. In this context, “negligence” means that the insurer acted unreasonably toward the client. The second step is to determine whether the company knew it was being unreasonable and denied the claim anyway.

In Louisiana, on the other hand, the insurance company must have acted in a way that was “arbitrary, capricious or without probable cause” for the insured party to prevail. This rather lengthy legal phrase has been found to mean “vexatious.” Courts have interpreted this to mean the insurance company refused to pay a claim without and reasonable or probable cause, or excuse for doing so.

As this suggests, the company must have acted with more than mere negligence. Bad faith requires some amount of willful action.

Every bad faith claim is different, and an insurance company facing such a claim should consult an attorney for more detailed advice.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

contact us

With offices in Lafayette and New Iberia, our lawyers represent clients in state and federal courts throughout Louisiana. Contact us today to schedule your case assessment with one of our experienced attorneys. Email or call us at 337-446-2442 to reach our Lafayette office or call 337-352-2310 to reach our New Iberia office.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Lafayette Office
100 East Vermilion Street
Suite 201
Lafayette, LA 70501

Phone: 337-446-2442
Map & Directions

Lafayette Office

New Iberia Office
800 South Lewis Street
Suite 205
New Iberia, LA 70560

Phone: 337-352-2310
Map & Directions

New Iberia Office