Tag: Hail Damage

hail damage insurance lawsuit

Raizner Law Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Dallas Motel Owner

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.

Hail Damage Insurance Claim

Raizner Law Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Apartment Complex Owner

Raizner Law has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Texas apartment complex owner against Houston Casualty Company, QBE Insurance Corporation, Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, Hiscox Incorporated, Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, Internal Insurance Company of Hanover SE, Alterra Excess & Surplus Insurance Company, Interstate Fire & Casualty Company, RSUI Indemnity Company, and Engle Martin and Associates (collectively “the insurers”).

Two Hail Storms Damage Apartment Complex

On December 27, 2015 and again on May 10, 2016, a hail storm swept through Hurst, Texas and caused significant damage to the plaintiff’s property. The hail storm caused extensive damage to the apartment complex’s roof that was so extensive large sections of shingles were missing from the roof systems. In response to the damage, the plaintiff has made numerous repairs to the roof and tarped large sections of the roof to mitigate damages. Unfortunately, the interior damages continue because of roof leaks due to the insurers’ low ball estimate and failure to pay the claim.

Upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with the insurers. In response to the claim, the insurers assigned the claim to Engle Martin who in turn assigned the claim to internal adjusters. The adjusters were improperly trained and failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim, spending an inadequate amount of time inspecting the plaintiff’s property. The damages the adjuster included in the report were grossly undervalued and did not allow for adequate funds to cover the cost of repairs for all damages sustained. The adjusters failed to perform any of the industry standard tests for hail and wind damage during their inspections. For example, the adjusters neither conducted test squares nor did the adjusters perform brittleness tests.

As a result of the mishandling of the plaintiff’s claim, the plaintiff has experienced a delay in fully repairing the property, which has caused additional damages. To this date, the plaintiff has yet to receive the full payment it is entitled to under its policy. The majority of the apartment units at the property continue to leak from the wind and hail damaged roofs. The adjusters handling the claim refused to consider any interior damages when conducting their inspection of the property, failing to inspect the interior of the apartment complex.

Violating Texas Insurance Law

The insurers and the third party adjusting firm handling the claim violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code. Our client alleges they failed to perform to a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, misrepresented the policy under which they afford property coverage to the plaintiff, and denied a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Get Help With Your Hail Damage Insurance Claim

At Raizner Law, our insurance attorneys believe that if you pay regularly pay your premiums, you deserve full protection under your policy. We know all of the bad faith tactics insurance companies employ to avoid paying out on claims and we can help you obtain complete compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your hail damage insurance claim.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law Files Bad Faith Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Commercial Property Owner

Raizner Law has filed a bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Laredo, Texas commercial building owner against United Fire & Casualty Company after its hail damage insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

May 2017 Hailstorm

The plaintiff owns and operates three commercial properties in Webb County, Texas. On May 21, 2017, a wind and hail storm ripped through Laredo and Webb County, causing significant damage to the plaintiff’s buildings. As a result of the hail and windstorm, the properties were substantially damaged. Sizeable portions of the properties’ roofs were compromised by hail and wind. As a result of the roof damages, the properties also sustained interior damages.

Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with United Fire and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to its policies. United Fire’s claims-handling process resulted in a wrongful denial that omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious hail and wind damages, and meteorological data supporting the plaintiff’s claims. United Fire unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the hail and wind, an action designed to save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the properties and the businesses.

United Fire assigned two claims adjusters to adjust the claim who were unqualified and incapable of adequately assessing the damages to these types of commercial properties. These adjusters were also the source of many delays throughout the claims process. United Fire and its adjusters took months to even inspect the properties or attempt to assess the damages. United Fire continued to delay the claim resolution and did not provide the insured with answers to its repeated requests for information about its pending claims.

United Fire ultimately denied the claims on March 20, 2018, despite the fact that wind and hail damages were obvious and that liability under the policy was reasonably clear. Their conclusions, denials, and refusal to acknowledge or pay the claim were based on an outcome-oriented investigation aimed at denying the plaintiff’s claims from the outset. United Fire, its adjusters, and consultants ignored obvious catastrophic hail and wind damage to the properties and refused to consider that hail and wind were actually the source of obvious damages. The claims adjustment process was unnecessarily complicated, disorganized, and conducted behind closed doors until United Fire ultimately wrongfully refused to compensate its insured for any of the obvious covered damages under the policy.

United Fire & Casualty Company Violated Texas Law

To this day, United Fire has refused to pay for any covered damages under the policy. United Fire violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate the prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim and failure to provide promptly a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim. Our client also alleges United Fire violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).

Get Help With Your Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or outright denied your hail damage claim, the experienced insurance lawyers at Raizner Law can help with you with your hail damage insurance lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help with your hail damage insurance lawsuit.

Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Bexar County Strip Mall Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Bexar Country strip mall owner against Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) SE, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, Alterra America Insurance Company, Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Commercial Industrial Building Owners Alliance, Inc., Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company, Homeland Insurance Company of New York, Claims Adjusting Group, Inc., and Atain Specialty Insurance Company.

April 2016 Hailstorm

On April 13, 2016, a severe hail and wind storm swept through Bexar County, Texas. The storm caused significant property damage, including extensive damage to the roof, interior, HVAC systems, and siding. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with its carriers and requested the cost of repairs be covered, including replacement of the roof, interior, HVAC systems, siding, and loss of income. The damage to the plaintiff’s roof was so severe that one of the tenants who had signed a five-year lease just two weeks prior to the storm terminated its lease.

In response to the claim, the carriers assigned adjusters that were inadequately and improperly trained to assess this type of claim. These adjusters failed to perform a thorough claim investigation, spending an inadequate amount of time inspecting the property.

The adjusters’ report failed to include all of the storm damage noted upon inspection. The damages the adjusters included in the report were grossly undervalued and did not allow for adequate funds to cover the cost of repairing all sustained damages. Furthermore, the adjusters refused to acknowledge the extensive damage to the roof, interior, siding, and HVAC units and misrepresented that the HVAC units and roof contained minimal damage and did not require full replacement. The carriers failed to thoroughly review and properly supervise the work of their assigned adjusters, which ultimately led to an improper adjustment and an inadequate, unfair settlement of the plaintiff’s claim.

The Insurance Carriers Acted In Bad Faith

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate the prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff. Our client also alleges the carriers violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Bexar County Hail Damage Insurance Lawyers

If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your commercial hail damage insurance claim, call the Bexar County hail damage insurance lawyers at Raizner Law today. We can help you get what you are owed under your policy.

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.

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.