Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
New Iberia
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How common are lightning-related claims in Louisiana?

There are many natural forces capable of causing significant harm to people and property. One of these is lightning. Damage to electronics, fires and significant electric shock injuries are among the harms lightning can cause.

Sometimes, insurance claims, such as homeowners insurance claims, are filed in relation to lightning-caused damage. Recently released statistics point to Louisiana seeing a particularly high number of such claims, compared to other states.

The statistics are from State Farm and regard how many claims connected to lightning-related damage the company paid out in the different states last year.

The statistics indicated that Louisiana had the third most claims in the country. Texas and Georgia were the only two states with more claims, with Texas holding the No. 2 spot and Georgia holding the top spot.

So, insurance claims regarding lightning are certainly something property insurers and other insurers could end up receiving from policyholders here in Louisiana.

Lighting-related claims are an example of one of the types of insurance claims an insurance company could end up encountering following severe weather striking in areas where its policyholders reside. Sometimes, a severe weather claim will have aspects that will result in an insurance company denying the claim, such as the particular damage the claim regards not being covered by the policy the claim was made in relation to. Severe weather claim denials are sometimes challenged by policyholders. How an insurance company responds to a claim denial being challenged, including what it does in any legal proceedings that come up out of the challenge, can have some pretty big ramifications.

So, the guidance/advice of an attorney skilled in insurance defense can be a critical thing for an insurer to have when a denial it issued on a severe weather claim or other type of insurance claim is being contested.

Source: The Advertiser, “Louisiana 3rd in the nation for lightning strike insurance claims,” June 20, 2016

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