Category: Lawsuits Filed

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.

Waxahachie Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

Waxahachie Hotel Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania LLP has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Waxahachie hotel owner against AmGUARD Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

February 2017 Hailstorms 

The plaintiff filed a hail damage insurance claim with AmGUARD after discovering extensive hail damage due to Texas hailstorms in February 2017. Portions of the property’s roof were damaged, causing storm created openings that further damaged the interiors of the property. Additionally, the HVAC systems, windows, and other portions of the property were severely damaged.

In response to the claim, AmGUARD assigned an internal adjuster who inspected the property and prepared an estimate documenting $144,073.53 in covered damages. However, several weeks later the plaintiff was notified the adjuster was being removed from the claim, and the claim would now be handled by an adjuster from Engle Martin & Associates, a preferred vendor of AmGUARD.

In an effort to assist AmGUARD with the claims process and to mitigate any further damages to the property, the plaintiff engaged its own contractor to assist with estimating some of the repair costs. AmGUARD’s claims-handling process omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious damages, and meteorological data supporting the plaintiff’s claim. AmGUARD unreasonably determined the damage was insufficient to warrant a payment to the plaintiff. AmGUARD and its preferred vendor, Engle Martin & Associates, ignored obvious evidence.

Although AmGUARD has provided no clear documentation of its findings, to date no payments have been made to the plaintiff for the extensive damage to the Waxahachie hotel. To this day, AmGUARD has refused to pay for any damages covered under the insurance policy.

AmGUARD Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including a 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 misrepresentation of the insurance policy under which it afford coverage to the plaintiff.

Waxahachie Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

At Raizner Slania LLP, we have extensive experience taking on large insurance companies and obtaining successful outcomes for our clients. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your claim, call the Waxahachie bad faith insurance lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

fire damage insurance attorneys

Industrial Building Owner Files Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit After Fire

Raizner Slania LLP has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of an industrial building owner against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London – Brit Syndicate 2987 and Hibbs-Hallmark & Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

Catastrophic Fire Devastates Commercial Property

The plaintiff owns a scrap metal dealing business that processes metal and then sells it to mills for profit. The property encompasses nearly four acres of land and includes multiple buildings, including a large scrap metal yard, a main office building, and several covered areas throughout the property. The business also utilizes numerous machines and large pieces of equipment, such as excavators, shredders, and separators, among others.

On May 5, 2017, a catastrophic fire broke out at the property. As a result, the business equipment on the property was severely damaged. In addition to damaged business equipment, the plaintiff lost extensive business income as a result of the fire damage to the property. Two pieces of industrial machinery were completely destroyed and two others sustained significant damage.

The damaged machinery prevented the plaintiff from processing and preparing its scrap metal. Because of this, the plaintiff lost business on significant materials that could have been purchased and sold to mills for a profit in the course of ordinary business operations. The damaged machines meant the plaintiff was unable to process the metal, so the plaintiff was forced to resell bulk material after the fire. Unfortunately, the post-fire material had to be processed manually, which caused the materials to incur higher labor costs.

Soon after the fire, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim for substantial property damages and lost business income. The plaintiff asked that the cost of the damages be covered pursuant to the policy, but Lloyd’s has refused to make a full payment on the plaintiff’s claim.

Lloyd’s conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation of the damages to the equipment and looked to find policy exclusions in order to deny the claim. Lloyd’s wrongfully denied, underpaid, and delayed plaintiff’s claim for actual damages to the property and lost business income. Specifically, Lloyd’s has chosen to continue to deny and delay timely payment of the damages.

Violations of the Texas Insurance Code

Our clients cites 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 policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff. Our client also alleges numerous violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Get Help With Your Insurance Claim

If your commercial insurance claim includes damage to specialty equipment, you will need the help of an experienced insurance attorney. Insurance companies often try to use dishonest tactics and misrepresentation to deny coverage for specialty equipment. At Raizner Slania LLP, our fire damage insurance attorneys have helped scores of clients with insurance claims and we know how to evaluate specialty equipment insurance claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawyer

Galveston Condominium Association Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a condominium association against Texas Windstorm Insurance Association after its Galveston County Hurricane Harvey wind damage insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

Hurricane Harvey Slams Into Texas Coast

Hurricane Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane and devastated the Texas coast. When Hurricane Harvey swept through Galveston, Texas, the city and its inhabitants experienced severe gusts of wind up to 54 miles per hour. As a result of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating winds, the building suffered damage to the interiors, exteriors, lighting, elevators, security cameras, and roofing systems, among other components. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Texas Windstorm and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy.

In response to the claim, Texas Windstorm sent an adjuster to the property on September 29, 2017, who personally observed substantial wind damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey. However, Texas Windstorm relied upon an engineer from BSC Forensics who concluded the damage was not storm related, but instead resulted from long-term trapped moisture, installation deficiencies, and other excuses.

Despite clear evidence of covered damage, Texas Windstorm engaged in and ratified this improper claims conduct and ultimately approved a gross underpayment of the contractual damages. Texas Windstorm instead unreasonably blamed the loss on causes other than wind to avoid contractual responsibilities and to save in excess of $1,000,000. The plaintiff cooperated throughout the claim process and even had consultants meticulously point out the extent of the damages covered by the subject policy.

Texas Windstorm chose to ignore obvious damages to the property. The plaintiff was forced to hire its own representative and demand re-inspections and re-evaluations of the obvious damages to the property that Texas Windstorm ignored.

Texas Windstorm Violated The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges Texas Windstorm violated the Texas Insurance Code by failing to adequately pay the claim as it is obligated to do under the terms of the policy in question and under the laws in the State of Texas. Our client also claims Texas Windstorm mishandled the plaintiff’s claim to their detriment by intentionally failing to meet the deadlines or timelines established under subchapter L-1 of Chapter 2210 of the Texas Insurance Code.

Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Lawyer

Insurance companies have no right to wrongfully deny or underpay valid claims. If you did not receive fair compensation from your Hurricane Harvey wind damage insurance claim, contact Raizner Slania LLP today. Our experienced insurance lawyers can help you get what you deserve under your policy. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Restaurant Insurance Lawyers

Harris County Restaurant Files Fire Damage Insurance Claim Lawsuit

Raizner Slania LLP has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit for fire damage against Blackboard Insurance Company (formerly known as Hamilton Insurance Company) and Texas General Insurance on behalf of a local restaurant owner.

Catastrophic Restaurant Fire

On September 9, 2017, a catastrophic fire broke out at the restaurant and caused significant damage to the business equipment, which in turn resulted in an extensive loss in income. Soon after the fire, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy. At the time of the fire, the property was being used in accordance with the plaintiff’s customary operations and business design, the same way the property was being used when the insurance policy was applied for and sold to the plaintiff.

Texas General and one of its agents sold the policy to the plaintiff. However, Texas General and its agent falsely represented to the plaintiff that damages caused by fire, among other things, would be, and indeed are covered by the insurance policy based on the known facts about the business, including the lack of an internal fire alarm system. The plaintiff trusted and relied upon the experience of Texas General and its agent to procure the appropriate coverage for its specialized business needs, and Texas General acted as the agent of Blackboard in connection with the procurement of coverage. Texas General and its agent led the plaintiff to believe the insurance policy secured would cover their business personal property and business income in the event of standard perils, including a fire loss.

Blackboard conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation of the damages to the restaurant and looked to find policy exclusions in order to deny the claim. Blackboard wrongfully denied and delayed the plaintiff’s claim for damages to contents and lost business income. Blackboard has chosen to continue to deny and delay timely payment of the damages. Because of Blackboard’s refusal to the pay the claim, the plaintiff has suffered significant economic loss.

Violations Of The Texas Insurance Code

Our client alleges Blackboard violated the Texas Insurance Code by failing to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of the claim and by failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim. Additionally, Texas General and Blackboard misrepresented the policy under which they provided coverage to the plaintiff.

Restaurant Insurance Lawyers

At Raizner Slania LLP, we have extensive experience handling litigation against insurance companies. We provide aggressive, efficient, and effective representation. If you are facing a dispute over a restaurant insurance claim, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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.