Surplus Lines Carrier Can Force Arbitration in Louisiana Despite Statute Limiting Arbitration

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Louisiana courts recognized arbitration clauses as a type of forum selection clause.

February 12, 2024
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The federal district court granted the surplus lines insurer's motion to compel arbitration despite a Louisiana statute barring policies from depriving courts of jurisdiction in cases against insurers. Queens Beauty Supply, LLC v. Indep.Specialty Ins. Co., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195372 (E.D. La. Oct. 31, 2023).

Hurricane Ida damaged property leased by Queens. Queens filed suit against its insurer, Independent Specialty Insurance Company (ISIC) for breath of contract and bad faith for failing to pay the full amount Queens contends it was owed for the damage. ISIC moved to compel arbitration.

Queens argued that ISIC waived its right to enforce the policy's arbitration clause by its actions before the court, including failing to opt-out of the settlement program adopted for Hurricane Ida cases. The court disagreed, ISIC had taken no overt act that evidenced a desire to resolve the instant dispute through litigation rather than arbitration. ISIC asserted as an affirmative defense that Queens's claims were barred by the arbitration clause in the policy. ISIC then participated in the settlement program for Hurricane Ida cases, which evidences a desire to settle the dispute, not to resolve it by litigation. Therefore, ISIC had not waived its right to arbitrate.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at


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