Raizner Law has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Dallas, Texas motel owner against United Specialty Insurance Company, Strata Claims Management, LLC, and Engle Martin & Associates, LLC.
April 2017 Hail Storm
On April 25, 2017, a hail storm swept through Dallas, Texas. The hail storm caused severe damage to the property, including damage to the roof, HVAC system, exterior, and interior of the property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with United Specialty alerting them to the damage. In response to the catastrophe claim, United Specialty assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequate and improperly trained. More specifically, United assigned the plaintiff’s claim to Strata for adjustment, and Strata in turn assigned the claim to an employee to adjust the damages. Strata then assigned the plaintiff’s claim to Engle Martin as independent adjusters, who assigned an employee to handle adjusting the claims.
United Specialty, with ultimate decision-making authority and acting on its own accord and through its agents Strata, Engle Martin, and their employees, 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. Specifically, Strata, Engle Martin, and their employees failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim. Engle Martin’s employee inspected the property on June 26, 2017, and performed a cursory, substandard inspection. On July 5, 2017, this employee prepared an estimate of covered damages that grossly undervalued what should be covered and paid under the policy.
Upon reviewing the gross undervaluation of the damage, the plaintiff hired its own licensed public adjuster to evaluate the claim. It was only after learning the plaintiff had hired a public adjuster that the defendants decided to retain an engineering firm to inspect the property. The engineering firm performed a “Window Damage Evaluation Report,” dated August 21, 2017. This report found “none of the windows have sustained any wind or hail impact-related damage” and that condensation was due to “seal failure” consistent with “age-related deterioration of the windows.” In short, the engineering firm’s report was an unreasonable and pretextual rubber-stamp of the unreasonable investigation made and underpayment already found by Strata and Engle Martin.
Unfortunately, the defendants have delayed payment for the plaintiff’s necessary and covered property repairs under the insurance policy. Given the repeated delays of payment, the plaintiff has been subjected to significant economic impact, worry, distress, and continuing economic and physical damage. Because of the delays, denials, and underpayment, the plaintiff has been unable to make necessary repairs to the property, which has resulted in further damages, including additional interior and roof damage, among others.
United Specialty Acted In Bad Faith
Our client alleges United Specialty acted in bad faith and cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, misrepresentation of an insurance policy under which it affords property coverage to the policyholder, and knowingly committing the foregoing acts with actual knowledge of the falsity, unfairness, or deception of the foregoing acts.
Get Help With Your Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit
Policyholders deserve full protection under their policies. Many insurance companies prey upon uninformed policyholders who are unaware of their legal rights. If your insurance company is denying your claim or misrepresenting the terms of your policy, contact the hail damage insurance lawyers at Raizner Law today for a free consultation to get help with your hail damage insurance lawsuit.