Category: Hurricane Harvey Claims

Hurricane Harvey Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Houston Commercial Property Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit on behalf of a commercial property owner in Houston, Texas against Twin City Fire Insurance Company after its insurance company was wrongfully denied.

The property is a one-story commercial building with 12,214 square feet of interior space. Unfortunately, on August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston, Texas and caused significant damage to the property. Sizable portions of the building’s roof and exterior were compromised, causing damage to the interior of the property, including the ceilings and insulation. Immediately after the storm, the plaintiff alerted Twin City of the damage and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to its policy.

Twin City’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. Twin City unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the wind, an action designed to save the insurer hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims payouts for Hurricane Harvey property damage and business interruption.

Specifically, just days after Harvey ravaged the property and the claim was submitted, on September 6, 2017, Twin City had already written off the plaintiff’s claim and issued a preliminary denial letter that offered no reasonable explanation of the facts underlying the denial and that failed to tie any relevant facts to the three pages of policy provisions cited by Twin City. Remarkably, after citing various exclusions and ignoring the relevant coverage, the letter claims no lost business income will be issued under the policy because the shutdown of the plaintiff’s business “was not due to direct physical damage by a covered cause of loss.”

Weeks after the plaintiff submitted the claim, on September 24, 2017, a “damage specialist”, inspected the property to determine the “cause of loss” that resulted from Harvey’s hurricane-force wind and water. Days later, on October 4, 2017, another denial letter was issued which was seemingly identical to the prior denial issued just days after the storm. Again, however, Twin City refused to acknowledge the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in the midst of the catastrophe. Twin City did not prepare any scopes or estimates of damages and/or refused to provide them to the insured.

The plaintiff was forced to hire its own consultants to assess the damage properly and provide their own estimates of damages to Twin City in the face of the company’s refusal to do so. After Twin City ignored its obligations, forcing the plaintiff to demand the company reassess the damages, another inspection took place on June 19, 2018 by a preferred vendor. This inspection also ignored obvious and extensive damages Harvey caused to the property and was conducted with the intent to simply rubber stamp the prior denial of the plaintiff’s claim for a second time. The inspectors were not qualified to assess the type of damages to a commercial property like the one at issue and, as a result, the inspections were haphazard, rushed, and incomplete. Twin City ultimately denied the plaintiff’s claim.

Twin City 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 adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of the claim, and refusal to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Filling Your Hurricane Harvey Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Insurance companies have been reluctant to pay out on valid claims in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. If your Hurricane Harvey claim is being denied or undervalued, contact Raizner Law today to see how we can help you obtain your rightful compensation under your policy.

Building reduced to a pile of wood as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Portland, Texas Hotel Owner Files Lawsuit After Wrongful Denial Of Hurricane Harvey Claim

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

Our client owns and operates a four-story hotel situated on 147,668 square feet of land with 17,324 square feet of interior space and a 1,440 square foot canopy. The building houses guest rooms, meeting/reception areas, office space, and kitchen facilities. On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane. Within the same area as the subject property, wind gusts were recorded as high as 132 miles per hour; and, the National Weather Service has stated these wind speeds are likely underestimated in coastal areas, such as San Patricio County, due to disabled equipment at the time of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.

As a result of Harvey’s extreme winds and rain when it hit Portland, Texas and specifically the subject property, the hotel was substantially damaged. Sizeable portions of its roof were compromised by wind, which caused additional damage to the interior, including damaged ceilings, walls, and flooring. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Palomar and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

In response, Palomar assigned the claim to an internal adjuster that was unqualified and incapable of adequately assessing the damages to the property. After utilizing a preferred vendor to inspect the property in September, Palomar and the adjuster continued to delay claim resolution and ignored the insured’s requests for updates. The plaintiff continued to press Palomar for updates – or any estimate of damages after their inspection – but they declined and ignored the requests.

Months after the inspections and after the plaintiff continuously pressed Palomar and the internal adjuster for updates, the internal adjuster responded to the plaintiff’s representative’s request for a copy of the revised estimate by simply stating “Not until I receive authority. Sorry.” The internal adjuster then followed up with more requests for repair documentation. To this day, due to Palomar’s outcome-oriented, inadequate, and haphazard investigation, Palomar has refused to fully pay for the damages covered under the policy.

Palomar Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges Palomar violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of the claim, failure to provide promptly a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and refusing to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Get Help Against Insurers Acting in Bad Faith

Insurance companies have no right to regularly accept your premium payments, but not provide the coverage promised. If your insurance company is delaying, undervaluing, or denying your Hurricane Harvey insurance claim, contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Hartford Fire Insurance

Raizner Law Files Hurricane Harvey Damage Lawsuit Against Hartford Fire Insurance Company

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit on behalf of a commercial property owner against Hartford Fire Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas Law.

The plaintiff owns three one-story commercial properties in Houston, Texas, totaling 66,350 square feet of combined interior space. Unfortunately, on August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey came ashore along the Texas coast and caused widespread devastation. When Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston and specifically the plaintiff’s properties, it caused significant damage. Sizeable portions of the properties’ roofs and exterior were compromised, which in turn caused interior damage to ceilings, insulation, and flooring.

Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Hartford and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy. Hartford’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.

Hartford conducted inspections that ignored obvious and extensive damages from Hurricane Harvey at the properties and were conducted with the intent to simply deny the claim. The inspectors were not qualified to assess the commercial property damages, and as a result, the inspections were haphazard, rushed, and incomplete. Hartford unreasonably stated in its reports that “the roofs had not been damaged by Harvey and no other storm-caused opening existed” in an effort to avoid contractual responsibilities and to save Hartford significant sums of money.

Hartford Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges Hartford violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, refusal to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the insurance policy under which it affords coverage. Our client also claims Hartford violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Get Help With Your Hartford Insurance Claim

If you are struggling with a Hartford insurance claim or any other Hurricane Harvey insurance claim, contact Raizner Law today. We help policyholders protect their rights and get the compensation they are rightfully owed under their policies. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hurricane Harvey Damage Report

New Data Could Help Find Overlooked Hurricane Harvey Victims

It’s been over a year since Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast, and many people are still in the process of rebuilding. Part of the difficulty in rebuilding is identifying areas damaged and the extent of damages. Luckily for Hurricane Harvey victims, the city is utilizing new data and modeling to help find overlooked victims to provide them with aid needed to complete recovery.

New Data and Models

To understand Harvey’s devastation, the city of Houston is turning to advanced modeling. The city is using a wide range of data regarding Harvey, including meteorological data, and combining it with the city’s environmental information. Then, an analytics company called Civis Analytics runs that data through predictive models. The models are able to recreate the storm so researchers can zoom in on all areas of the city that were affected and examine the damage in detail, something that is impossible to do in real-time as a storm is occurring.

How New Data Can Help

Previous to this method, the damage done by a storm was measured by applications for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA. This method has some serious shortcomings, including the fact that the agency only considers “verified losses,” which means the damages must be at least $8,000 for homeowners and $2,000 for renters. Of course, FEMA also has application deadlines, so any victims that miss the deadline aren’t included in FEMA’s estimated cost of the storm. Finally, FEMA also rejects a lot of claims – and those claims don’t end up included in the estimated damages for a natural disaster. For example, after Hurricane Harvey, FEMA rejected more than 182,000 applications.

Simply put, relying on FEMA data to measure the damage wrought by a storm and to identify the areas affected leaves out far too many natural disaster victims. How many exactly? Predictive models found FEMA’s estimate of Hurricane Harvey damages was actually short by $3 billion dollars. The city has only been given $1.15 billion from FEMA for recovery so far, which means $1.85 billion is still needed for Houston to recover.

Other Factors Slowing Down Recovery

Accurate data is an important step to helping all of Houston recover, but it isn’t the only obstacle. Insurance companies are using a wide variety of bad faith tactics to wrongfully deny valid Hurricane Harvey insurance claims. Many property owners are still waiting for answers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the catastrophic flooding caused by the Addicks and Barker reservoirs and controlled dam releases.

Raizner Law Is Proudly Supporting Hurricane Harvey Victims

Raizner Law wants to see every Houstonian make a full recovery from Hurricane Harvey. If you are struggling with an insurance company or if your home or business was flooded by the reservoirs, contact us today to see how we can help.

Family stands in front of home damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Katy, Texas Homeowners File Hurricane Harvey Damage Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey damage lawsuit on behalf of Katy, Texas homeowners against Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London after their Hurricane Harvey insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

On July 26, 2017, the subject property, an 11,000 square foot home, was struck by a hailstorm that damaged the building’s exterior and envelope. Just one month later, the property was further damaged by Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore along the Texas coast as a Category 4 Hurricane on August 25, 2017.

As a result of Harvey’s extreme winds, including mesocyclones and rain, the property suffered substantial damage. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof previously damaged during the policy period by hail were further compromised by wind, causing water intrusion and substantial interior and exterior damage.

Immediately after the storm, the plaintiffs promptly filed a claim with Underwriters, alerting them to the extensive damages and asking them to cover the cost of repairs pursuant to the policy.

In an effort to assist Underwriters with the claims process and to mitigate any further damages to the property, the plaintiffs engaged a public adjuster to assist with estimating repair costs. Underwriters and its preferred vendor ignored much of the evidence, including a detailed estimate confirming damages of over $600,000.00.

Underwriters at Lloyd’s Acted In Bad Faith

Underwriters’ 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 plaintiffs’ claim. Underwriters unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the hail and windstorms, an action designed to save the insurer hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the property and the business.

Our clients cite 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 policy under which it affords coverage to the plaintiff. Our clients also allege Lloyd’s violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Damage Lawsuit

If your insurance company is denying your Hurricane Harvey property damage claim, immediately contact the experienced insurance lawyers at Raizner Law. We can help you pursue compensation by filing a Hurricane Harvey damage lawsuit. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your

Hurricane Harvey Victims

Houston Finishes Comments On Hurricane Harvey Recovery Plans

For victims of Hurricane Harvey, recovery remains an ongoing process. Homes that were inundated with floodwaters are still in the process of being rebuilt, and property owners are still looking for answers from the city about how the flooding happened. Although recovery has been slow, one huge step has been completed as the city of Houston and Harris County complete a comment period on Hurricane Harvey Recovery plans.

There are currently plans to use approximately $2.3 billion in federal housing funds to help residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. The city of Houston will use $1.1 billion for recovery, and Harris County will use the remaining $1.2 million. These plans still need to be approved by the federal government, but once in place, the plans will provide the necessary funds for Houston to recover.

How The Money Will Be Utilized

Harris County has released a proposal for how the $1.2 billion will be used for recovery and prevention. The County’s proposal includes:

  • $222 million for an affordable rent program
  • $211 million for the Harris County Homeowner Assistance Program
  • $209 million in local infrastructure improvements
  • $200 million for home buyouts
  • $115 million for new single-family home construction
  • $55 million for local planning
  • $16 million in program administration cos
  • $15 million for a homeowner reimbursement program
  • $7.5 million for a homelessness prevention program

The City of Houston focused its proposal on rebuilding homes, and has divided its $1.1 billion accordingly:

  • $600 million for repairing or building single family homes
  • $375 million for repairing or building apartments

Unanswered Questions From Hurricane Harvey Victims

While federal aid will help the city rebuild and recover, the proposals don’t address the unanswered questions from the thousands of property owners affected by the Addicks and Barker reservoir releases. Many property owners learned their homes were built in a floodplain only once Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall caused their homes to flood. Homeowners downstream of the reservoirs also want to know how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will compensate them for homes destroyed by the Army Corps’ decision to begin controlled releases from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

Getting Help After Flooding

Raizner Law is currently helping victims of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs flooding in lawsuits against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If your home was flooded by the reservoirs, contact us today to see how we can help.