Category: Lawsuits Filed

Harris County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

Harris County Hotel Owner Files Lawsuit Against Scottsdale Insurance Company

Raizner Slania has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a local hotel owner against Scottsdale Insurance Company after its wind and hail damage claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

January 2016 Wind and Hail Storm

On January 8, 2016, a severe wind and hail storm swept through Harris County, causing significant damage to the roof, interior, and exterior of the plaintiff’s hotel property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Scottsdale and asked the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

In response to the claim, Scottsdale assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to plaintiff’s file that were inadequate and improperly trained and that would violate standard insurance practices when directed to do so by Scottsdale.

Specifically, Scottsdale assigned the claim to an adjuster who failed to perform a thorough investigation of the damage. Scottsdale refused to hire qualified experts to appropriately assess the damage. In February 2017, Scottsdale wrongfully underpaid and denied the plaintiff’s claim.

Scottsdale represented to the plaintiff that certain damages were not covered under the policy, when in fact they were; and the insurer continued to deny timely payment to cover the cost of the damages. Because of this, the plaintiff was forced to hire their own consultant to independently evaluate the damages to the property.

The repeated delays of payments subjected the plaintiff to significant economic impact and physical damages. Because of Scottsdale’s delays, denials, and underpayment, the plaintiff has been unable to make necessary repairs to the property, which has resulted in further property damage and additional financial harm from loss of revenue.

Scottsdale Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including the failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim and the failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim.

Harris County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

Policyholders deserve to receive their rightful payments under their insurance policies. The experienced Harris County bad faith insurance lawyers at Raizner Slania have helped hotel owners across Houston and throughout Texas get their rightful payments from agencies and insurance companies operating in bad faith. If your insurance company wrongfully delayed or denied your claim, contact us today for a free consultation.

Wind and Hail Damage Lawsuit

Local Funeral Home Files Wind and Hail Damage Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a wind and hail damage lawsuit on behalf of a local funeral home against Ohio Security Insurance Company after its commercial property hail damage claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

April 2014 Tarrant and Dallas County Wind and Hail Storm

On April 4, 2014, a wind and hail storm swept through Tarrant County and Dallas County and caused severe damage to the roof, HVAC, exterior, and interior of the property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Ohio Security Insurance and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

In response to the claim, Ohio Security Insurance assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequately trained to handle this type of claim. Specifically, the claim was assigned to an adjuster who failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim. The adjuster performed a substandard inspection of the property and did not prepare any estimates or scopes of damages for the properties and/or failed to provide those items to the plaintiff.

The adjuster failed to hire qualified experts to assess the damage and continually delayed the claims process. Ohio Security Insurance relied solely on the adjuster’s inadequate, incomplete, and unreasonable investigation to determine what amounts, if any, to pay on the claim. As a result, the plaintiff’s claim was grossly underpaid and the plaintiff has been unable to make the necessary repairs to the property. This has caused additional damage to the exterior and interior of the property.

Ohio Security Insurance Acted In Bad Faith

Our client alleges numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including the failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim and the failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim. Additionally, Ohio Security Insurance misrepresented the insurance policies under which it affords property coverage to plaintiff.

Misrepresentations of Policies

Many insurance companies purposefully misrepresent policies during claims investigations to avoid costly payouts. For policyholders who regularly pay their premiums, this isn’t just dishonest – it’s illegal. If your insurance carrier delayed, denied, or undervalued your claim, the experienced bad faith insurance lawyer at Raizner Slania can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Harris County Hail Damage Insurance Lawyers

Local Apartment Complex Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of local apartment complex owners against AmRisc, LLC, Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s, London, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, QBE Specialty Insurance Company, Steadfast Insurance Company, General Security Indemnity Company of Arizona, United Specialty Insurance Company, Lexington Insurance Company, Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Company, International Insurance Company of Hannover, and Vericlaim, Inc.

January 2016 Harris County Wind and Hailstorm

On January 28, 2016, a severe wind and hailstorm swept through Harris County, causing substantial damage to the local apartment complexes. As a result, the exteriors, roofs, building interiors, HVAC units, and other structures of the properties were damaged. Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiffs filed insurance claims under their policy with various carriers to cover the cost of repairs.

Underwriters of Lloyd’s, Indian Harbor, QBE, Steadfast, General Security Indemnity, United Specialty Insurance, Lexington, Princeton and the International Insurance Company of Hannover were the carriers on the policy. AmRisc was the program manager and it packaged a number of similar properties into the substandard insurance program at issue in the case. In response to the claim, the carriers assigned the claim to Vericlaim, who in turn assigned the claim to an internal adjuster.

Vericlaim and its internal adjuster conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation and denied any wind and hail damage to the roofs, windows, HVAC units, interior, and other structures of the properties. Additionally, they also grossly undervalued what damage they did accept. Specifically, the internal adjuster ignored or rejected facts, physical indicators, photos, and historical building reports confirming reasonably clear coverage for the wind and hail damage to the properties.

The internal adjuster assigned unqualified and biased consultants to the claim and failed to do his own investigation of damages to the properties. The carriers relied on Vericlaim’s incomplete and inadequate investigation to determine what amounts, if any, to pay on the claim. As a result, no payments have been issued under the policy.

The Carriers Acted In Bad Faith

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to attempt to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to adopt reasonable standards for a claim, and failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of claim.

Surplus Lines Insurers

In the Texas commercial insurance market, an increasing number of policies come from surplus lines insurers. Surplus lines insurers are typically really just a front – file drawer entity – and most or all of the true insurance risk is ceded to unauthorized foreign reinsurers that are neither licensed in the state nor legally authorized to conduct the business of insurance in the state. With very few regulations and very little oversight, these surplus lines insurers operate in a gray area of the market and often use bad faith insurance tactics to avoid costly payouts.

Harris County Hail Damage Insurance Lawyers

Raizner Slania is experienced in fighting insurance companies and surplus lines insurers who operate in bad faith. We handle all commercial hail damage insurance litigation on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing unless we help you recover financial damages. If your commercial hail damage insurance claim has been denied, delayed, or underpaid, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Nueces County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

Hotel Owners File Bad Faith Hail Damage Insurance Claim

Raizner Slania has filed bad faith hail damage insurance claims on behalf of two local hotel owners against Lexington Insurance Company and York Risk Services Group, Inc. after their hail damage claims were wrongfully denied.

March 2016 Hailstorm

On March 19, 2016, a severe wind and hail storm swept through Nueces County, Texas, causing significant damage to the roof, windows, exterior, and interior of the properties. Upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff immediately filed a commercial hail damage insurance claim with Lexington and asked that the cost of the repairs be covered pursuant to its policy.

In response to the claim, Lexington assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequately and improperly trained. Specifically, Lexington assigned the claim to York Risk Services, who in turn assigned the claim to an employee.

York and the employee failed to perform a thorough investigation of the damages. After visiting the properties, the employee did not prepare any estimates or scopes of damages and/or failed to provide them to the plaintiff. In addition, the employee failed to hire any qualified experts to inspect the damage and failed to communicate with the insured throughout the claims process.

Lexington relied solely on York and its employee’s substandard investigation to determine what amounts, if any, to pay on the claim. As a result of the employee’s inadequate, incomplete, and unreasonable investigation, Lexington wrongfully denied and grossly underpaid the plaintiff’s claim.

Lexington wrongly represented the damages were not covered under the policy, when in fact they were; and, Lexington continues to deny timely payment to cover the property damage. Lexington’s refusal to pay has caused the plaintiff to suffer significant economic impact, worry, distress, and continuing economic and physical damages. The plaintiff has been unable to make the necessary repairs to the properties, causing additional damage to the interiors, roofs, and other parts of the properties.

Lexington Violated The Texas Insurance Code

The plaintiff cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the insurance policy under which it affords property coverage to plaintiff.

Nueces County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

If your insurance company wrongfully denied, delayed, or underpaid your commercial hail damage insurance claim, the experienced Nueces County bad faith insurance lawyers at Raizner Slania can help. Call us today to learn your legal options.

Odessa Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

Odessa Hailstorm Rocks Businesses and Property Owners

Odessa, Texas is no stranger to hailstorms, but the storm that swept through the city on June 14, 2017 was something residents and business owners were not prepared for. Winds during the storm were reported to be between 60 and 70 miles per hour while hail the size of baseballs pelted the city.

Widespread Damage

Although the storm lasted for only half an hour, the damage to the city was catastrophic. The storm swept through Ector County and parts of Midland County, causing significant damage to businesses in the path of the storm. Many buildings suffered roof damage and broken windows, including the Second Baptist Church where an entire side of the church suffered broken windows. However, hail can also cause severe damage to anything exposed like HVAC systems, equipment, and siding among other things.

In total, the damage is estimated to cost $480 million in repairs, making this the most costly storm in Odessa in decades. However, business owners can be surprised to learn that the total damages include more than just the cost of repairs. Business owners can suffer addition damage to their property while waiting for repairs. Roofs that become damaged in a hail storm can leak when it rains and businesses can be forced to close their doors until repairs are complete causing them to lose revenue. Owners of retail centers and apartment complexes can lose tenants, either temporarily or permanently, and this type of lost income can give rise to significant business interruption claims.

Many buildings like hotels, retail buildings, office buildings, and apartments were all damaged in the storm, and business owners may soon see out of state contractors and roofers descend on Odessa with offers to complete repairs. Property owners should always be wary of out state contractors who chase storms like the one that hit Odessa. These contractors often over promise and under deliver. Before hiring any contractor, public adjuster, or attorney, policyholders should ask questions and do their research. There is a lot at stake with a commercial insurance claim, so only qualified professionals should be retained to help your claim.

What Does This Means For Property Owners?

Anytime there is a natural event that causes widespread damage, business owners can face unique challenges regarding their property insurance claims. Events like last month’s Odessa hailstorm present massive losses to insurance companies, and some may respond by using bad faith tactics to limit payouts.

Insurance companies might try to claim that the hail damage is “normal wear and tear” or falsely claim some or all of the damage existed before the storm. These tactics are often unfair and unfounded, and are frequently touted by fraudulent engineers and other insurance industry professions whose goal is to help insurance companies reduce or complete deny payouts. If it doesn’t sound right, it may not be, and property owners would be wise to seek an independent, second opinion from a qualified contractor or public adjuster of their choice prior to accepting an insurance denial or reduced claim payment.

Under the Texas Insurance Code, policyholders have the right to have their insurance claims be investigated promptly and fairly. Policyholders must also be provided with a reasonable explanation if their claim is denied.

Unfortunately, recent legislation will make it more difficult for business owners to pursue these types of claims. This means property owners need to hire experienced and qualified legal counsel to successfully navigate a bad faith insurance claim. With the help of an experienced lawyer, policyholders can fight back against claims that are not properly investigated or claims that are delayed, underpaid, or wrongfully denied.

Odessa Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

At Raizner Slania, our lawyers know the tactics insurance companies use to avoid payouts. Our Texas bad faith insurance lawyers have earned nationwide recognition for helping policyholders fight for and win their rightful claims against insurance companies operating in bad faith. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Houston Fire Insurance Claim Attorneys

Houston Builder Files Fire Damage Insurance Claim Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit against American Zurich Insurance Company and Vericlaim, Inc. on behalf of a local Houston builder whose fire damage insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

May 2016 Fire

On May 13, 2016, a fire broke out at the plaintiff’s property, which consisted of structures under construction at the time of the fire. The fire damaged the structure, plumbing, windows, walls, floors, frame, roof, exterior, and interior of the property. The plaintiff filed an insurance claim under its policy with Zurich for damages to the property caused by the fire.

The plaintiff and its representatives presented the full scope of damages consistent with the current state of construction to Zurich. However, Zurich improperly applied a co-insurance penalty to the loss and falsely represented that the plaintiff was underinsured on its builder’s risk insurance policy. Zurich and Vericlaim also misinterpreted policy provisions concerning the reporting of construction status and property values.

In response to the claim, Zurich assigned the claim to Vericlaim, which in turn assigned the claim to an employee. Vericlaim and the employee failed to perform a thorough investigation of the property and improperly ignored clear damages covered by the policy. Additionally, the employee failed to hire qualified experts to appropriately assess the full extent of damages.

Vericlaim and its employee sought to deny the plaintiff’s claim and conducted an outcome-oriented investigation geared toward concluding the plaintiff was underinsured for the loss, which would result in a large financial benefit to Zurich.

Zurich relied solely on Vericlaim and its employee’s investigation of the claim to determine what amounts, if any, to pay on the claim. As a result of the haphazard investigation, the plaintiff has been grossly underpaid for property damages. Zurich and Vericlaim engaged in illegal insurance claim settlement practices by refusing to accept responsibility for the loss.

Violations of the Texas Insurance Code

The plaintiff cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of claims, failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and misrepresentation of the insurance policy under which it affords property coverage to plaintiff.

Houston Fire Insurance Claim Attorneys

 If your commercial insurance carrier has denied, delayed, or underpaid your fire damage insurance claim, the experienced Houston fire insurance claim attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.