When your home or property sustains damage and you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, you first need to determine whether or not the damage is covered under the policy terms. If it is, then you should expect to receive a settlement. Unfortunately, insurance carriers can make this process difficult. They may even try to say that you are responsible for proving the extent of the damage or that the damages should be covered under the terms of the policy. That is where the burden of proof comes in.
What is the burden of proof?
The burden of proof, as far as insurance matters are concerned, has to do with who must prove the extent of the damage and whether or not the damage will be covered under the policy. In Louisiana, the insurer bears the burden of proof when it comes to denying that damages are covered by their policy.
This is highlighted by the Louisiana Supreme Court case Dan Veuleman & Jody Veuleman v. Mustang Homes, LLC, 2013-C-190 (La. 4/5/13), – So. 3d.
In that case, the insurer argued that the loss sustained by the policyholder was excluded because it was performed by a subcontractor. However, they were unable to prove that a subcontractor performed the work. The Louisiana Supreme Court stressed that the insurer, not the plaintiff (policyholder) in the case, possessed the burden of proving that the policy exclusion applied.
Insurers will use various tactics to keep from making payments
Insurance carriers are “for-profit” entities that will do what they can to lower the total amount of money they pay in a settlement. This includes denying legitimate claims. If you have a claim that should be covered under your insurance policy, then it is up to the insurance carrier to prove that it is not covered if they want to avoid paying you. If you suspect that your insurer has wrongly denied your claim, contact Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC. Our New Orleans bad faith insurance attorney will analyze your claim and work to determine your next steps forward.