Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Houston Commercial Property Owner Files Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a bad faith Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Houston commercial property owner against State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas

The plaintiff owns ten different commercial properties across Harris County and Fort Bend County. When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas beginning on August 25, 2017, the plaintiff’s properties suffered significant wind damage from the storm. Immediately upon discovering the damage across its properties, the plaintiff filed wind insurance claims with State Auto and asked the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the insurance policy.

State Auto’s claims-handling process resulted in wrongful denials that omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious wind damage, and meteorological data from Hurricane Harvey supporting the plaintiff’s claims. State Auto unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the wind, an action designed to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims payouts for damages to the properties and the businesses.

State Auto assigned a claims adjuster to handle the claims who was located in Ohio. The adjuster was unqualified, incapable of adequately assessing the property damage, and was the source of many delays throughout the claims process. After inspecting the properties, State Auto and the adjuster continued to delay claim resolution and ignored the plaintiff’s requests for updates.

According to the adjuster, the plaintiff’s claims were denied on the basis of finding “no wind/storm related damages to the building” on nine out of the ten properties. This conclusion was based on an outcome-oriented investigation aimed at denying the plaintiff’s claims from the outset. State Auto, its adjusters, and consultants ignored obvious catastrophic wind damage to the properties, and refused to consider Harvey’s considerable winds were the source of the damage. The claims adjustment process was unnecessarily complicated, disorganized, and conducted behind closed doors until State Auto ultimately wrongfully refused to compensate the plaintiff for any of the obvious covered damages under its policy.

State Auto Violated The Texas Insurance Code

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

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law is proud to represent Hurricane Harvey victims. We are a local Houston law firm, so we know the struggles faced by our clients firsthand. If you have a Hurricane Harvey wind damage claim and your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or outright denied your claim, call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit Claims

Reinsurer Recalcitrance Slowing Down the Repair of Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure

While preparing for a natural disaster is a wise idea, there are some things that just cannot be anticipated. When Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, few could have imagined the island would still be struggling with a fragile power grid ten months after the storm. One of Puerto Rico’s biggest struggles recovering after Hurricane Maria was the island’s damaged infrastructure. Unfortunately, repairs to the infrastructure are taking longer to make because of the slow response from insurance companies to pay out on claims.

Puerto Rico’s infrastructure wasn’t in good shape before the storm. The roads suffered from many potholes, the power grid was very temperamental, and a significant portion of residential construction was done informally by individuals rather than licensed contractors. But when Hurricane Maria hit, it caused a whole new set of problems. The roads and highways suffered further damage, which made it difficult to travel; and even where the roadways weren’t damaged, they were cluttered with debris and large trees that needed to be removed one by one.

For an entire island without power, running on generators was extremely important, but with the roads in impassable conditions, it was difficult to get fuel to the hospitals and other facilities that needed it for generators. Gas stations that would normally dispense fuel were damaged and left inoperable, leaving much of the island stranded without fuel.

But it wasn’t just fuel struggling to make its way across the island. All supplies, including medical supplies, food, building supplies, and electrical equipment to repair the power grid, are having trouble reaching towns across the island.

Reinsurer Recalcitrance

Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies, and foreign reinsurers dominate most of the commercial insurance market in Puerto Rico. While reinsurance is a vitally important component of the insurance industry (it keeps insurance companies from becoming insolvent by spreading out the risks), most foreign reinsurers are dragging their feet when processing claims. If policyholders cannot get their rightful payments under their policies, they won’t have funds to begin or complete needed repairs.

Get Help With Hurricane Maria Insurance Claims

At Raizner Law, our experienced insurance lawyers are helping Hurricane Maria victims get their full compensation under their insurance policies. If you need help with Hurricane Maria insurance claims, do not wait to contact us. Our consultations are free, and there is no upfront cost for working with us. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation.

Puerto Rico’s Power Grid

Nearly A Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Still Failing

When Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, few realized how long lasting the devastation would be. It’s been over ten months, and power has still not been completely restored to the island, making it the longest power blackout in U.S. history. Officials are projecting repairs will be completed by the end of August 2018, but experts believe the repairs will not hold up against another Category 4 hurricane.

According to Puerto Rico’s Commissioner of Public Safety, Hector Pesquera, “The grid is there, but the grid isn’t there. It’s teetering.” Mr. Pesquera warned that the grid is so fragile, even if it was hit by only a Category 1 hurricane, the island would probably lose power.

The country has been desperately trying to complete repairs, and has awarded over one billion dollars in contracts to electric companies to rebuild the power grid. Despite this, thousands of Puerto Ricans remain without power, and generators are still powering vital infrastructure buildings including hospitals and police departments. For those Puerto Ricans that do have power, it is often fleeting. All it takes is a blown transformer or a snapped line for the power to go out again.

Puerto Rico’s fragile power grid has many worried about the 2018 Hurricane Season. This season is estimated to be similar to the 2017 season, meaning the island could easily see another storm that undoes the currently incomplete repair work done on the power grid since Hurricane Maria.

Unfortunately, a fragile power grid isn’t the only thing slowing down the island’s recovery. Insurance companies have been extremely slow to process and pay out on valid claims. This means many businesses cannot conduct repairs, often leading to additional lost income and further property damage.

Get Help With You Hurricane Maria Insurance Claim

Raizner Law is now evaluating commercial property claims in Puerto Rico. There is no upfront cost for working with us, and our consultations are free. We can help you understand your legal rights. We’ve achieved significant wins against some of the largest insurers in the world, and we can help you too.

Apartment Complex Insurance Claims

Local Houston Apartment Complex Owner Files Insurance Lawsuit After Fire Damage Claim Denial

Raizner Law has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a local Houston apartment complex owner against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, QBE Specialty Insurance Company, General Security Indemnity Company of Arizona, Lexington Insurance Company, International Insurance Company of Hannover, PLC, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, Steadfast Insurance Company, United Specialty Insurance Company, Princeton Excess & Surplus Lines Insurance Company, and Amrisc, LLC.

November 2017 Fire

On November 12, 2017, a fire substantially damaged the plaintiff’s apartment complex property. As a result, the damaged building components include light fixtures, windows, drywall, flooring, HVACs, and the roofing system of the property, among other items. Upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim under its policy with the carriers for damages to the property caused by the fire. The plaintiff asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

The insurance carriers, through AmRisc, assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequate and improperly trained. Specifically, the claim was assigned to a third party adjusting firm who in turn assigned the claim to its internal adjuster. The internal adjuster conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation and denied the claim for fire damage to property.

Despite clear evidence of covered damage, the carriers engaged in and ratified the internal adjuster’s improper claims conduct and ultimately approved a gross underpayment of the contractual damages. This underpayment was issued on March 26, 2018 and it omitted important facts, physical evidence, and meteorological data supporting the plaintiff’s claim. The carriers instead unreasonably blamed the loss on causes other than fire to avoid contractual responsibilities and saved in excess of $1,000,000.

Violations of the Texas Insurance Code

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the investigation of a claim, and refusal to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Lawyers for Apartment Complex Insurance Claims

If you are an apartment complex owner, and your property has suffered from wind and hail damage, fire damage, plumbing leaks and water damage, or damage from any type of disaster, you may need legal assistance. Raizner Law has successfully helped apartment complex owners and other business owners with insurance claims against some of the largest insurers in the world. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit Attorneys 

Raizner Law Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Commercial Building Owner

Raizner Law has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a commercial building owner against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law. The building suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Harvey, and to this day, Lloyd’s has failed to issue the plaintiff full coverage under its policy.

The plaintiff owns a large commercial property in Houston, Texas that houses a banquet hall, office space, and kitchen facilities. On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey, recognized as one of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history, made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. Harvey’s extreme winds and rain when it hit Harris County, and specifically the subject property, on August 27, 2017 caused the property substantial damages. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind, resulting in interior damage to ceilings, walls, and flooring.

Despite underwriting insurance policies for Texas properties, Lloyd’s does not have a single employee in Texas, so when claims like the plaintiff’s arise, they assign the claim to third-party administrators. In this case, Lloyd’s assigned our client’s claim to Gulf Coast Claims Services (GCCS), one of several adjusting firms that have sprouted to service the foreign, absentee insurance market led by Lloyd’s. Although Texas law provides that an insurer has a “non-delegable duty” to responsibly handle claims, delegate is precisely what foreign insurance entities like Lloyd’s do on a regular basis.

Lloyd’s utilized its preferred vendor, GCCS, to handle adjustment of the claim on its behalf. GCCS’s adjustment was disorganized, rife with delays, and left many of the plaintiff’s questions unanswered. The plaintiff hired its own representative to assist with the claims process, but GCCS’s adjusters continuously ignored the plaintiff’s representative in an effort to intentionally mislead the plaintiff about the claims process and ultimately deny the claim.

Lloyd’s Violated the Texas Insurance Code

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and refusal to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit Attorneys 

At Raizner Law, we have extensive experience taking on large insurance companies and obtaining successful outcomes for our clients. If you are a business owner struggling with your insurance company over a Hurricane Harvey claim, don’t wait to contact one of our Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit attorneys to learn your rights.

Tropical Storm Beryl

Tropical Storm Beryl Tested Storm Ravaged Puerto Rico

It’s been over ten months since Hurricane Maria, but the entire island of Puerto Rico is still struggling with recovery. Unfortunately, nothing can stop the 2018 hurricane season and Puerto Rico has already been tested by one tropical storm early on in the season.

Meteorologists closely watched Tropical Storm Beryl because of its path toward Puerto Rico. On Saturday, July 7, 2018, the National Hurricane Center issued its first warning about the storm. While tropical storms are not always cause for concern, Puerto Rico remains extremely vulnerable after Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Hurricane Maria caused significant damage to the island’s infrastructure, and as a result thousands of Puerto Ricans remain without power now, even almost a year later. To make matters worse, many Puerto Ricans don’t currently have homes that can stand up to hurricanes and other storms. Many roofs are still covered by plastic tarps and some buildings still have unrepaired major structural damage, including missing walls, as the insurance industry has been slow to make necessary claims payments.

Slow Recovery

Despite ten months of effort, Puerto Rico still has a long road to recovery. Damage to the island’s roads and highways, in addition to its power grid, is still creating huge barriers to recovery. The biggest obstacle to Puerto Rico’s full recovery from Hurricane Maria has been the slow response from insurance companies to pay out on legitimate claims. Without receiving insurance claims payouts, property owners don’t have the money to begin repairs. The slow action from insurance companies has actually violated Puerto Rican insurance law, and in response the Commissioner of Insurance, Javier Rivera, issued a whopping 2,587 violation orders to six different insurers. These violation orders also came with over $2 million in fines. Unfortunately, the fines have not helped speed up recovery.

Heading Into Hurricane Season

Because Puerto Rico remains extremely vulnerable, the 2018 Hurricane season could cause further devastation. Puerto Ricans have the legal right to have their insurance claims handled in a timely manner, but insurance companies are simply refusing. The only way to force an insurance company’s hand is to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit. With the help of an experienced insurance attorney, policyholders can get what they are rightfully entitled to under their policies.

Raizner Law Now Helping Hurricane Maria Victims

Raizner Law is now helping commercial property owners in Puerto Rico with their Hurricane Maria insurance claims. There is no upfront cost for working with us, and our consultations are free. Contact us today to see how we can help.