Category: Insurance Claim Lawsuits

Insurance companies exist to provide an individual or entity financial protection or reimbursement from loses. These types of contracts can be full of confusing and sometimes conflicting information as well as fine print the average person may not be aware of. Although the companies are supposed to protect their clients, often they will deny, delay, or dispute claims to prevent having to provide compensation. The attorneys of Raizner Slania file lawsuits against these insurance companies acting in bad faith and fight for their client’s right to reimbursement.

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.

Insurance Attorneys

Southeastern Texas Sees Worst Rain Since Harvey

Many Texans were having flashbacks to Hurricane Harvey last week as they surveyed the damage caused by several days of significant rainfall. On June 19th, a slow moving storm drenched Southeastern Texas with the worst rainfall the area has seen since Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

The slow moving storm was a recipe for disaster. The upper-level low-pressure system stalled over Texas, where it began interacting with widespread tropical moisture, which caused the torrential downpour. The storm dropped large amounts of rain ranging from five inches to 15 inches in some areas. Most of the rainfall fell along the Texas coast from its Southern border to approximately 125 miles south of Houston. The rain also hit the Beaumont-Port Arthur area particularly hard, with some property owners discovering six inches of floodwaters. Many Orange County residents had only recently moved back into their homes after Hurricane Harvey only to suffer flood damage again during this latest bout of storms.

Recovery after a storm like this can take many months. Unfortunately for property owners, dishonest insurance companies are reluctant to uphold their policies, thus slowing repairs down. Many companies use nuances in policies to try to wiggle their way out of paying claims, so it’s important for policyholders to understand some insurance jargon.

Wind Driven Rain vs. Storm Created Openings

There are two types of water damage created by rainfall: wind driven rain and storm created openings. While you might not think there is much of a difference between the two, the reality is that one of these types of damage is covered by insurance and the other is not. A storm created opening occurs when wind or other forces during a storm create an opening rainfall can then fall through. If wind rips off portions of your roof, siding or windows, a building’s interior will quickly become drenched. This type of damage is covered under your insurance policy. Wind driven rain occurs when an existing flaws in the building envelope allow rainwater to enter the interior of a building. This type of damage is not covered under your policy.

The difference between wind driven rain and storm created openings may seem obvious, but many insurance companies will wrongfully classify damage as wind driven rain to avoid paying out. Unfortunately, many policyholders don’t know any better. When an insurance company wrongfully denies claims, policyholders can hold them accountable by filing a lawsuit.

Insurance Attorneys For Southeastern Texas

Raizner Slania LLP is a local law firm that focuses on getting policyholders the most out of their policies. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your property damage claim, call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn your legal options.

DFW Hailstorm

DFW Hailstorm Caused An Estimated $1 Billion In Insured Losses

On June 6, a massive hailstorm swept through the Dallas-Fort Worth area causing damage to thousands of homes and businesses. In the weeks since the storm, property owners have been working diligently to get repairs underway, but it won’t be a quick process. The Insurance Council of Texas reported the hail damaged an estimated 20,000 properties.

While some areas only received small sized hail, golf-ball and baseball-sized hail rocked through Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton Counties. According to Boston-based catastrophe modeler Karen Clark & Co., the June 6 hailstorm caused nearly $1 billion in insured damages. Damage was most significant for roofs, windows, skylights, solar panels, HVAC systems, satellite dishes, and any other equipment located on the roof.

For most property owners, hail damage is a covered loss under their insurance policies; however, that doesn’t mean insurance companies will be quick to pay out. Natural disasters like the June 6 hailstorm present huge losses for insurance companies. These companies often do everything in their power to minimize paying out on claims. There are various bad faith tactics insurance companies use to minimize or deny claims, but the most common tactics include:

  • Blaming covered damage on inadequate maintenance to the property
  • Blaming covered damage on regular wear and tear to the property
  • Wrongly claiming some damage is not covered under the policy when in fact it is
  • Failing to provide an estimate of damages to the insured
  • Failing to engage appropriate experts to evaluate damage
  • Causing unnecessary delays

Don’t Face The Insurance Company Alone

If you own commercial property, you can’t afford to go back and forth with the insurance company only to get a fraction of what repairs will cost. To get full compensation under your policy, you need to speak with an experienced insurance attorney who can hold the insurance company responsible.

At Raizner Slania LLP, our lawyers have earned nationwide recognition for helping policyholders fight for their rightful claims against insurance companies that operate in bad faith. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation. We handle all bad faith insurance cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we help you recover on your claim.

Houston Hurricane Lawyers

2018 Hurricane Season Forecast and Preparedness

The start of Hurricane Season on June 1st had many Houstonians worried. It’s been less than a year since Hurricane Harvey caused devastation across the city and throughout Texas, and many people still live with constant reminders of the storm’s damage. Each year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a forecast of the upcoming Hurricane Season, and this year the agency had a few interesting insights.

An Average Hurricane Season

NOAA reported that the 2018 Hurricane Season has a 75% chance of being normal or slightly above normal. But what exactly does normal mean? To the NOAA, normal still means Houston could weather a few storms. A normal or average hurricane season includes 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, and three of those hurricanes become major hurricanes (category three and above). Currently, the NOAA is predicting approximately ten to 16 named storms, with five to nine of them developing into hurricanes, and one to four could develop into major hurricanes.

Preparing For Hurricanes

Even though this year’s Hurricane Season isn’t currently predicted to be particularly active, it only takes one major hurricane to cause catastrophic damage. For this reason, everyone should make some preparations in the event of a major storm. Here are a few helpful tips to get you ready for the upcoming Hurricane Season:

  1. In case of an evacuation, have a plan ready, including where you will go, what routes you’ll take to get there, and what you will take with you. If you have pets, you may need to make separate arrangements for them.
  2. Stock up on extra water bottles and nonperishable food. Hurricanes have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to infrastructure. You may not have electricity or clean drinking water immediately after a storm, and even if you do, the roads may be damaged or blocked, preventing you from getting to a store.
  3. Closely monitor changing weather conditions. Battery powered or crank radios are ideal for monitoring weather conditions because they don’t rely on an electrical source or Internet connection.
  4. Make sure loved ones know where you are and how to contact you. All natural disasters are incredibly disruptive, so plan ahead and make sure other family members know how to reach you and keep them updated on your whereabouts.

Houston Hurricane Lawyers

At Raizner Slania LLP, we understand the challenges of rebuilding after a hurricane. Most people believe their property and belongings are protected under insurance policies, but the reality is that insurance companies are often less than honest when handling natural disaster claims, which can rob policyholders of coverage and slow down recovery. If you are still struggling with your insurance company over your Hurricane Harvey damage insurance claim, call the Houston hurricane lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP today.

Commercial Property Hail Damage Lawyers

Hailstorm Devastates DFW Area

For most people, last Wednesday, June 6th was pretty unremarkable. Unfortunately for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the early morning was marked by a catastrophic hailstorm. Many places in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and North Texas suffered hail damage, including the cities of Coppell, Carrollton, Arlington, Irving, Frisco, and Farmers Branch.

The storm caused widespread damage and turned severe just after midnight. At 12:30 a.m., the National Weather Service released warnings for portions of Denton and Collin Counties. The storm continued to move southwest, moving through the Dallas-Fort Worth area dumping large chunks of hail along the way. Early Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service recorded wind gusts at DFW airport at 59 miles per hour.

The reports of hail size varied from 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter in places like southeast Arlington to softball-sized hail in parts of Coppell and Carrollton. For property owners, even small pieces of hail can cause serious damage. Hail can damage roofs, creating openings for rainfall that damage interiors. Hail can also damage other building components like HVAC systems, which can require costly repairs.

Filing A Commercial Property Hail Damage Claim

While most commercial property owners have insurance policies to protect against hail damage, it’s important to understand how insurance companies might try to minimize paying out on claims. Storms like the one that caused widespread damage in the DFW area cost insurance companies millions. To avoid paying out, insurance companies might use a variety of bad faith tactics. Oftentimes insurance companies will claim the damage to a property is just regular wear and tear or due to inadequate maintenance. Other times insurance companies will misrepresent the terms of their policies, claiming certain hail damage isn’t covered when in fact it is. For commercial property owners, talking to an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer can help make sure you get what you are rightfully entitled to under your policy.

Commercial Property Hail Damage Lawyers

When policyholders regularly pay their insurance premiums, they deserve full coverage under their policies. At Raizner Slania LLP, we have extensive experience taking on large insurance companies and obtaining successful outcomes for our clients. Call one of our commercial property hail damage lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit

Commercial Building Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit Against Underwriters at Lloyd’s

Raizner Slania LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Harris County commercial building owner against Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London after its Hurricane Harvey Insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

Hurricane Harvey Drops Unprecedented Rainfall

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall off the Texas coast in late August 2017, few anticipated how much rain the slow moving storm would drop across Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s extreme winds and rain caused substantial damage to our client’s commercial property. Wind compromised sizable portions of the property’s roof, which caused water intrusion and interior damage. Overall, the roof, insulation, ceilings, interiors, and electrical components of the structure were damaged.

Despite substantial damage, the plaintiff felt fortunate to have an insurance policy that would cover the cost of repairs. Immediately after the storm, the plaintiff promptly filed a claim with Underwriters, alerting them to the extensive damages.

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

The plaintiff hired its own public adjuster to estimate repair costs; however, Underwriters and its preferred vendor, Vericlaim, Inc., ignored the estimates provided by the public adjuster. Although Underwriters has, to date, provided no clear documentation of its inspection or findings, it denied the claim in full on December 26, 2017.

In its Denial Letter, Underwriters quoted the opinions of an engineer it claims to have hired to support its conclusions. If any estimates were in fact prepared, none of those documents or explanations were provided to the plaintiff. Instead, Underwriters simply denied the claim and closed the file.

Underwriters at 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 Lawyers

Texans experienced catastrophic losses in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. As if the physical damage wasn’t severe enough, Texans are now facing dishonest insurance companies that are wrongfully denying claims and preventing Texans from rebuilding. If you are struggling with your insurance company with regard to a Hurricane Harvey claim, don’t wait to contact us to learn your rights.