Category: Hailstorm Damage Insurance Claims

Hailstorms can result in considerable damage affecting windows, rooftops, the exterior and even the interior of a property. The cost of repairs may consist of thousands of dollars, but property owners with insurance will pay just a fraction of that overall cost. But when an insurance company acts in bad faith – failing to comply with a claim, delaying the claim process, or unreasonably denying due compensation – Raizner Slania steps in to ensure these property owners receive their owed payment.


Laredo Hail Damage Claims

Laredo Property Owners Still Recovering From Hail Storm

It’s been nearly a year since golf ball sized hail pelted areas of Laredo, Texas, but business owners are still struggling with the storm’s aftermath. Hail causes significant damage to anything in its path, and with many surplus lines insurers operating in a grey area of the Texas insurance market, policyholders are caught between insurance companies wrongfully denying claims and hail damage they can’t afford to fix themselves.

May 2017 Hail Storm

While hail is not an uncommon occurrence in Texas, the hail storm that swept through Laredo on May 21, 2017, was unique in its duration. The storm produced hail for nearly two hours. A maximum hail size was reported at 2.75 inches, but on average the hail was 1.83 inches in diameter. The storm covered a wide area, affecting approximately 38,562 buildings in Laredo and Zapata, Texas. Weather stations measured the storm’s wind gusts up to 56 miles per hour, meaning buildings were being showered with golf ball sized hail.

Laredo’s Mayor quickly declared the city a disaster area after the storm. In order to declare a city a disaster area, damages must exceed $900,000; but in this case, the damage to the World Trade Bridge in Laredo alone is estimated to be approximately $1 million.

How Hail Damage Claims Are Wrongfully Denied

Hail damage claims are particularly painful for insurance companies, often causing billions of dollars in payouts each year. However, insurance companies are first and foremost a business, which means anytime an area is damaged by a hail storm, insurance companies are quick to minimize claims.

Although hail damage might seem obvious, there are several ways insurance companies might try to release themselves from liability. An insurance company might claim the alleged hail damage isn’t actually hail damage but damage caused by the regular wear and tear caused over time. Insurance companies might also try to blame the damage on inadequate maintenance to the property, faulty construction, and/or manufacturing defects of the damaged components.

What This Means For Policyholders

The bad faith tactics used by many insurance companies to wrongfully deny or underpay claims put an extreme burden on policyholders. Many will be forced to pay out of pocket for repairs their insurance company should have covered. Policyholders need to understand that they have rights. If you have regularly paid your premium, you are entitled to full compensation under your policy.

Laredo Hail Damage Claims

If your business was damaged in the Laredo hail storm last May and you are still struggling with your insurance company, you need to immediately call Raizner Slania LLP. Don’t let your insurance company delay, deny, or underpay your claim. We can help with your Laredo hail damage claims and get you the compensation you are entitled to.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuits

Dallas County Apartment Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Dallas County apartment owner against Peleus Insurance Company, Strata Claims Management, LLC, and Engle Martin & Associates, Inc. after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

March 2016 Hailstorm

On March 17, 2016, a wind and hailstorm swept through north Texas, causing substantial damage to the roofs, HVAC, exteriors, and interiors of the apartment complex property. Upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Peleus. In response to the claim, Peleus assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequately and improperly trained.

Specifically, Peleus assigned the claim to both Strata and Engle Martin. In turn, both Strata and Engle Martin assigned the claim to claims representatives. Peleus, Strata, Engle Martin, and their representatives failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim.

The representatives performed a haphazard inspection of the property and its damages and grossly undervalued what damages they did accept. Additionally, Peleus, Strata, Engle Martin, and their representatives made false representations to the plaintiff, including illegitimately claiming the damage occurred prior to the policy period and improperly ignoring facts confirming the wind and hail storm.

Strata and its representative also misrepresented the extent of damages confirmed at the property, falsely used excuses such as roof deficiencies and improper installation, and made misrepresentations about available weather data, including blatant misuse of predictive modeling supposedly being relied on to deny and delay the claim.

Strata and its representative then wrongfully claimed the roofs did not need to be replaced and instead blamed the clear damages on installation failures and the age of the roof systems. These are deceptive, unfair, and unreasonable claim actions, as Peleus and Strata’s own underwriting data confirms the good and insurable condition of the buildings.

As a result of the haphazard inspections and investigation, Peleus wrongfully denied the plaintiff’s hail damage insurance claim. Peleus failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim and the plaintiff has been unable to make the necessary repairs, causing additional property damage.

Peleus Wrongfully Denied The Claim

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of claims, refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the insurance policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuits

If you regularly pay your insurance premiums, you deserve full policy protection. Oftentimes when apartment owners try to receive compensation from a claim, they discover their insurance company is less than honest. If your apartment complex suffered wind or hail damage and the insurance company isn’t being straight with you, contact the hail damage insurance lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP. We’ve helped hundreds of property owners get full compensation under their policies.

Dallas County Hail Damage Attorneys

Condominium Owners Association Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Dallas County condominium owners association against Peleus Insurance Company, Strata Claims Management LLC, and Engle Martin & Associates, Inc.

March 2016 Wind and Hail Storm

On March 23, 2016, a wind and hail storm swept through Dallas County causing substantial damage to the roofs, HVAC, exteriors, and interiors of the condominiums. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim under its policy with Peleus for damages caused by the storm. The plaintiff asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

In response to the claim, Peleus assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequate and improperly trained. More specifically, Peleus assigned Strata to adjust the claim and Strata assigned the claim to a claims manager. Peleus also assigned the plaintiff’s claim to Engle Martin, who in turn assigned it to an employee to adjust the damage.

Strata and Engle Martin failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim. Strata, Engle Martin, and their representatives failed to prepare any estimates or scopes of damages to the property for the plaintiff. They also grossly undervalued the damages they did accept. Strata, Engle Martin, and their representatives made false representations to the plaintiff, including illegitimately representing that the entirety of damages occurred prior to the policy period and improperly ignoring facts confirming and supporting the hail and wind event and in turn extent of damages.

Peleus had ultimate decision-making authority over the claim. Peleus falsely denied the claim, failed to conform to proper claim settlement practices in Texas, failed to properly supervise its designated representatives, and unreasonably denied and delayed full and fair claim payment.

Our client was forced to hire its own consultant to adjust the damages because Peleus refused to do so. The plaintiff’s own consultant has identified substantial damage far beyond what Peleus acknowledged.

The Carriers 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 misrepresentation of the insurance policies under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff.

Dallas County Hail Damage Attorneys

Many insurance companies purposefully misrepresent policies during claims investigations to avoid costly payouts. If your insurance carrier delayed, denied, or undervalued your claim, the experienced Dallas County hail damage attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Denton County Gas Station Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Denton County gas station and convenience store after Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Company wrongfully denied its commercial hail damage insurance claim.

March 2016 Hailstorm

On March 23, 2016, a wind and hailstorm swept through Denton County, Texas. As a result, the plaintiff’s property was substantially damaged, including damage to the roof, exterior, interior, products, and other business property. Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Nationwide to cover the cost of repairs pursuant to the policy.

In response to the claim, Nationwide assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequate and improperly trained. Specifically, Nationwide assigned the claim to an adjuster who was charged with the responsibility of assessing the damages. The adjuster performed a haphazard investigation of the damages and prepared a grossly undervalued estimate of damages to the structure that ignored obvious damages to the property. Additionally, the adjuster failed to engage appropriate, non-biased consultants to evaluate the damage.

Nationwide relied solely on the adjuster’s incomplete and inadequate investigation to determine what amounts to pay on the claim. As a result, the plaintiff was grossly underpaid for the cost of repairs and has been unable to complete repairs to the property. Nationwide misrepresented coverage under the policy to the plaintiff, stating that certain damages were not covered, when in fact they were.

Nationwide 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 and failure to implement reasonable standards for the investigation of claim. Additionally, our client alleges Nationwide violated the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA), which provides additional protections to consumers who are the victims of deceptive, improper, or illegal practices.

Know Your Rights As A Policyholder

If your gas station or convenience store has suffered hail damage, your insurance company should pay to cover the cost of repairs. Unfortunately many insurance companies try to find ways to minimize payouts. When this happens, you will need an experienced Texas insurance lawyer to help you get your rightful compensation. If you are facing a dispute over an insurance claim, contact Raizner Slania today to discuss your rights.

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.