Month: August 2018

Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawsuit

Raizner Law Files Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawsuit One Year After The Storm

One year after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, Raizner Law has filed a Harvey wind damage lawsuit on behalf of a Houston condominium complex owner against AmRisc LLC, Certain Underwriters at 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, and the International Insurance Company of Hannover SE.

The insurance carriers, through the program design and management of AmRisc, sold a commercial property policy the plaintiff whereby the carriers would provide insurance coverage for the property. On August 26, 2018, Hurricane Harvey reached Houston and caused devastating damage. Hurricane Harvey damaged the roofing system, drywall, flooring, and other parts of the property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed a claim with the carriers and asked 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, AmRisc, on behalf of all carriers, assigned the claims to a third party adjusting firm. In turn, the third party adjusting firm assigned the claim to its internal adjuster. The internal adjuster conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation. The claim process, inspections, and results were continuously delayed starting the day the claim was made. The carriers, Amrisc, and their agents reassigned the claim to different adjusters, refused to provide the insured with answers, ignored obvious damages at the property, and misrepresented policy benefits, all while the property sat in disrepair and they refused to issue any payments whatsoever.

Nearly two months after Hurricane Harvey hit, the internal adjuster performed a haphazard inspection of the property. Without relying on any qualified consultants whatsoever, the third party adjusting firm and its internal adjuster valued the hotel’s damages at $8,897.93, a number well below the policy deductible. The carriers relied on these findings and willfully refused to do their own investigation to verify the obvious damages. The carriers, AmRisc, and the third party adjusting firm all failed to pay or adjust the claim appropriately after liability was reasonably clear. Over the next several months, the claim was delayed under the guise of “additional investigation,” aimed at ultimately denying the plaintiff’s claim despite obvious evidence to the contrary. The carriers and AmRisc continued to bounce the claim around internally while refusing to provide answers to the plaintiff regarding covered damages. The carriers eventually wrongly denied the Hurricane Harvey commercial property damage insurance claim.

Violating 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, refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and failure to affirm or deny coverage of a claim to a policyholder within a reasonable time.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawsuit

It’s been just over a year since Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Texas, but many property owners are still struggling to rebuild because insurance companies aren’t paying out on valid claims. Get help with your Hurricane Harvey wind damage lawsuit today. Call Raizner Law for a free consultation to see how we can help.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawyers

Victoria, Texas Hotel Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit on behalf of a Victoria, Texas hotel owner against Palomar Specialty Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas Law.

Hurricane Harvey Causes Catastrophic Damage

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and caused widespread damage. Our client’s Texas hotel is a two-story structure that contains a main lobby, offices, a restaurant, conference rooms, and 126 hotel rooms. When Hurricane Harvey swept through Victoria, Texas, the storm caused significant damage to the property. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind. As a result, there was also interior damage to HVAC, ceiling, insulation, flooring, and drywall. Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Palomar.

Palomar’s claims-handling process resulted in a wrongful denial that omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious wind damage, and meteorological data from Hurricane Harvey supporting the plaintiff’s claim. Palomar unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the wind, an action designed to save Palomar hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the property and the business.

Palomar assigned an internal adjuster to handle the claim who was located in Indiana. The internal adjuster was unqualified, incapable of adequately assessing the damages to the property, and was the source of many delays throughout the claims process. After utilizing a preferred vendor to inspect the property in December, four months after Harvey hit, Palomar and the internal adjuster continued to delay claim resolution and ignored the insured’s requests for updates. The plaintiff and its representative continued to press Palomar for updates and/or an estimate of damages after their inspection, but they declined and ignored the requests. Two months after the inspection, three months after the initial inspection, and after the plaintiff’s representative continuously pressed Palomar and the internal adjuster for updates, the internal adjuster simply said Palomar was “still reviewing” the claim. Palomar eventually denied the claim in February 2018.

Violating the Texas Insurance Code

Palomar made 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 a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawyers

Policyholders that regularly pay their premiums deserve full coverage under their policies in the event of a natural disaster. If your business was damage by Hurricane Harvey and the insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or outright denied your claim, contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation.

Insurance Companies

What Happens to Insurance Companies After A Major Disaster

When a major natural disaster occurs, such as a hurricane, much of our focus is on our families and our own safety. However, insurance companies can take big hits following major disasters, which often send their stock prices into immediate decline. With the aftermaths of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria in the not-so-distant past, it’s important to examine why and how the insurance industry is impacted by large scale natural disasters and what it can mean for overall recovery after these major events.

According to published data about the property and casualty insurance industry, , 2017 had the highest catastrophic losses in recent years, falling between $50 and $125 billion, with losses from 2011 and 2005 rounding out the top three. Hurricane Harvey resulted in losses ranging from $10 to $25 billion and Hurricane Maria resulted in losses up to $48 billion, although these numbers are still being calculated—but what do these losses actually mean?

In the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic event, stock prices for property and casualty insurers can take an initial hit.  But usually, these stock prices lag for the first two to four weeks as investors assess damages and earnings per share adjusts downward. But that doesn’t last long, as a major catastrophe loss tends to mean higher near term premiums. And that expectation of higher premiums tends to drive stock prices back up. Within just a few months, stock prices are often higher than they were before the hurricane or other catastrophe event. The increase in premiums also benefits property and casualty brokers, who also benefit from the higher premiums.

For insurance companies, the profitability of storms isn’t limited to major events. During hurricane season in particular, property and casualty stocks routinely outperform on average, historically rising an average of 3.5 percent since 1993. This also takes into account the average amount of hurricanes that happen each year, with around 18 storms making landfall annually since 1851. The decade of 2000-2010 was particularly notable as it averaged 18 hurricanes per year, including seven major Category 3+ hurricanes making landfall in the United States. Though it might be easy to think 2017 was a busy storm season with Maria and Harvey, only nine land-falling hurricanes occurred between 2011 and 2017.

Though one may think insurance companies are at an overall loss when disaster strikes, they are still businesses who sometimes thrive off of these bad situations. While stock prices may decline in the immediate aftermath, once the disaster claims payouts become certain, premiums begin to rise and the stock price rebounds and actually becomes much higher, reaping more profits for insurance companies. This boon presents a stark contrast to the businesses and families that are left to rebuild.

Get Help With Your Natural Disaster Claim

Although insurance companies face millions of dollars in claims, the reality is that they try to limit payouts as much as possible by utilizing bad faith tactics. When this happens, you need an experienced natural disaster claim lawyer who can hold the insurance company responsible and get you what you are rightly entitled to under your policy. Contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation to discuss your natural disaster claim.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Bexar County Strip Mall Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Bexar Country strip mall owner against Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) SE, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, Alterra America Insurance Company, Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Commercial Industrial Building Owners Alliance, Inc., Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company, Homeland Insurance Company of New York, Claims Adjusting Group, Inc., and Atain Specialty Insurance Company.

April 2016 Hailstorm

On April 13, 2016, a severe hail and wind storm swept through Bexar County, Texas. The storm caused significant property damage, including extensive damage to the roof, interior, HVAC systems, and siding. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with its carriers and requested the cost of repairs be covered, including replacement of the roof, interior, HVAC systems, siding, and loss of income. The damage to the plaintiff’s roof was so severe that one of the tenants who had signed a five-year lease just two weeks prior to the storm terminated its lease.

In response to the claim, the carriers assigned adjusters that were inadequately and improperly trained to assess this type of claim. These adjusters failed to perform a thorough claim investigation, spending an inadequate amount of time inspecting the property.

The adjusters’ report failed to include all of the storm damage noted upon inspection. The damages the adjusters included in the report were grossly undervalued and did not allow for adequate funds to cover the cost of repairing all sustained damages. Furthermore, the adjusters refused to acknowledge the extensive damage to the roof, interior, siding, and HVAC units and misrepresented that the HVAC units and roof contained minimal damage and did not require full replacement. The carriers failed to thoroughly review and properly supervise the work of their assigned adjusters, which ultimately led to an improper adjustment and an inadequate, unfair settlement of the plaintiff’s claim.

The Insurance Carriers Acted In Bad Faith

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate the prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff. Our client also alleges the carriers violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Bexar County Hail Damage Insurance Lawyers

If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your commercial hail damage insurance claim, call the Bexar County hail damage insurance lawyers at Raizner Law today. We can help you get what you are owed under your policy.

Hurricane Harvey wind damage

Pasadena Strip Mall Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey wind damage lawsuit on behalf of a Pasadena strip mall owner against Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour on August 25, 2017. Hurricane Harvey swept through Pasadena and hit the plaintiff’s property on August 26. The high winds from the storm compromised large potions of the property’s roof, allowing rain to be driven in, causing significant interior damage. There was also significant damage to the insulation, exterior lighting, drywall, paint, flooring, bathroom, lighting, ceilings, and other parts of the property.

Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Westchester alerting them of the damage. Westchester’s claims-handling process resulted in a wrongful denial that omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious wind damages, and meteorological data from Hurricane Harvey supporting the plaintiff’s claim. Westchester unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the wind, an action designed to save Westchester hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the property and the business.

Although Westchester has, to date, provided no clear documentation of its inspection or findings, it denied the claim in full. One Westchester claims specialist based out of Georgia stated the damage was “not the result of storm-created openings but pre-existing deficiencies and/or openings in the roof covering and sealant.”

Westchester Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges Westchester violated the Texas Insurance Code by failing to effectuate the prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failing to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and misrepresenting the policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawsuit

 In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many insurance companies are trying to reduce payouts by misclassifying damage. This is wrong, and the insurance attorneys at Raizner Law are here to help policyholders stand up to insurance companies. If your Hurricane Harvey wind damage claim has been denied, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Bay City, Texas Motel Owner

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Bay City, Texas motel owner against Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London after its insurance claim was wrongly denied under Texas law.

Hurricane Harvey Hits Texas

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane, inflicting billions of dollars in damages to private and public property in Fort Bend County and Matagorda County alone. As a result of Harvey’s extreme winds and rain when it hit Bay City and Matagorda County, the plaintiff’s motel property was substantially damaged. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind, which caused significant damage to the ceilings, walls, and flooring.

Immediately after the storm, the plaintiff promptly filed a claim with Lloyd’s, alerting them to the extensive damages. However, because Lloyd’s does not have a single employee in Texas, the claim was assigned to a third-party administrator. Under Texas law, insurers have a “non-delegable duty” to responsibly handle claims, but Lloyd’s blatantly ignored this duty. The third-party administrator’s adjustment of the claim was disorganized, rife with delays, and left many of the insured’s questions unanswered.

Months after inspections of the property, Lloyd’s found “damages found to the property do not exceed your policy deductible,” in an effort to avoid contractual responsibilities and to save significant sums of money at the expense of the plaintiff.

Lloyd’s Operated In Bad Faith

Lloyd’s violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code, including refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, failing to implement reasonable standards for the investigation of a claim, and misrepresentation of the policy under which it affords coverage to the insured. Our client also alleges Lloyd’s violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit 

Insurance companies have no right to use bad faith tactics to avoid paying out on valid claims. Much of the Texas coast suffered catastrophic losses from Hurricane Harvey, and insurance companies are preventing businesses from recovering. If your insurance company is delaying, underpaying, or denying your Hurricane Harvey insurance claim, contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation to discuss your options.