Thursday, January 11, 2007


The behavior of insurance companies dealing with Katrina claims has done nothing but disgust me. Finally, they get a liberal application of the clue-by-four.
A jury on Thursday awarded $2.5 million in punitive damages to a couple who sued State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. for denying their claim after Hurricane Katrina.

The decision could benefit hundreds of other homeowners challenging insurers for refusing to cover billions of dollars in storm damage.

Now, granted, water damage is explicitly not covered by most insurers. This includes a hurricane's storm surge (not sure if that's explicitly spelled out). However, they are claiming all damage during this period of time is due to the storm surge. They are claiming the tons of tornadoes spawned and high winds are completely irrelevant, whether they destroyed the homes or not. In their world the fact there was a storm surge at all negates any other possible explanation for damages.

The judge made a directed verdict awarding damages to the couple, and told the jury to decide on the punitive. The judge obviously felt the evidence was so overwhelming for the Broussards' that he made that decision himself.

I hope the other insurance companies are crapping their pants.