Tag: Hotel Damage

Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit

Padre Island, Texas Hotel Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Padre Island, Texas hotel owner against Greenhill Group LLC, First Specialty Insurance Corporation, Evanston Insurance Company, and Scottsdale Insurance Company. Our client alleges its Hurricane Harvey insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

Our client owns a six-story hotel situated on 126,354 square feet of land with 79,810 square feet of interior space. The building is a well-known hotel and conference facility in the Corpus Christi area, and it contains guest rooms, meeting/reception areas, office space, a fitness area, laundry facilities, a restaurant and bar, and kitchen facilities.

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey, recognized as one of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history, made landfall on the Texas coast in San Patricio County and Aransas County as a Category 4 hurricane. Wind gusts of up to 132 miles per hour were reported in the same area as the property. As a result of Harvey’s extreme winds and rain when it hit Nueces County and specifically the property, the hotel suffered substantial damage. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind, which in turn caused damage to the interior of the property, electrical components, ceilings, flooring, and HVAC.

Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed insurance claims with the carriers. As the primary insurer on the property, First Specialty took the lead during the claims handling process; however, its claims-handling process resulted in wrongful denials and gross underpayments that omitted a wealth of facts, physical evidence, obvious wind damages, and meteorological data from Hurricane Harvey supporting the plaintiff’s claim. First Specialty unreasonably pinned the loss on anything but the wind, an action designed to save the insurance company and the other carriers millions of dollars in damages to the property and the business.

Specifically, First Specialty assigned unqualified consultants and adjusters to handle the claim and ignored damages the adjusters initially accepted. First Specialty retained a preferred vendor to handle the initial adjustment. After an inspection on September 13, 2017, First Specialty’s adjuster verbally confirmed coverage and damages of millions of dollars to the building structure alone; however, those amounts were never paid. Rather, First Specialty sent additional consultants out in order to minimize the claim payout to the plaintiff. On September 20, 2017, additional adjusters were sent to the property and admitted they personally observed substantial Hurricane Harvey wind damage.

Acting with authority on behalf of the carriers, the adjusters conceded that millions of dollars were owed on the claim and verbally offered an undisputed amount to pay the insured’s claim. Despite this legally binding agreement, the carriers reneged on their promise, and continued to delay the claim until its partial denial in May 2018. To this day, the plaintiff has not been properly paid for property damage, and has suffered significant economic hardship not only in the cost of repairs but also in lost business income.

Violations of the Texas Insurance Code

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim and misrepresenting the terms of the policy under which it affords property coverage to the plaintiff. Our client also claims the carriers violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act.

Fighting For Hurricane Harvey Victims

It’s a shame that Hurricane Harvey victims have to fight so hard for the compensation they are rightly entitled to under their insurance policies. Raizner Law is helping Hurricane Harvey victims with bad faith insurance claims. If your Hurricane Harvey insurance claim has been denied or underpaid, 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.

Hospitality Industry Claims

Hospitality Industry Claims

Rebuilding after a natural disaster can be extremely challenging for any business, but for property owners in the hospitality industry, the challenges are more staggering. Many hotel and motel owners have insurance policies to protect them and their businesses after natural disasters, but when insurance companies use bad faith tactics, the consequences can be fatal for a hospitality industry business.

Hotel And Motel Damage

Like any other property that suffers damage, insurance companies will use a variety of bad faith tactics to minimize or completely deny claims for hotel and/or motel property damage. Oftentimes an insurance company will wrongfully claim that the damage was due to normal wear and tear or inadequate maintenance of the property. While these tactics are incredibly harmful to any business, they are particularly devastating to companies operating within the hospitality industry.

Business Interruption Claims For The Hospitality Industry

Business interruption insurance is a type of insurance designed to compensate business owners for a loss in income after a natural disaster. For example, if a business suffers damage from a fire, the business will be closed while necessary repairs are made. Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income and the costs incurred by the business while it is closed for repairs.

For hotels, business interruption claims often involve a decline in occupancy. Hotels and motels are in high demand after any natural disaster or major storm. Not only are residents displaced, but restoration crews, FEMA workers, insurance adjusters, and contractors flock to the affected area. These individuals need places to stay, so it is incredibly important that damaged hotels and motels can get up and running as fast as possible to benefit from the increased demand.

When insurance companies delay or fail to pay valid property damage claims for hotels and motels, these businesses lose the opportunity to serve the numerous individuals who have been displaced or have come to the area to assist in evaluating and rebuilding. This scenario occurred for many hotel and motel owners after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria last year. Those hurricanes devastated many buildings in their paths. While some hotels and motels were able to make repairs quickly, others sat boarded up or remained only partially operational, losing significant revenue.

Franchise Owners And Loss of Flag

For hotels and motels that are part of a franchise, delayed or underpaid insurance claims can have additional complications. Hotel franchisors have strict requirements for property condition, so when an insurance company delays or denies a payment, it can put the franchisee at risk of not being able to perform covenants in the franchise agreement.  At the end of the day, if the insurer doesn’t pay and the hotel owner cannot afford to complete the repairs themselves, the owner can lose the right to conduct business under the franchise agreement.  This then results in enormous added costs as the hotel owner seeks a different franchise – or flag – to operate under.

Get Help With Your Hospitality Insurance Claim

If your hotel or motel suffered commercial property damage or an interruption in regular business, don’t wait to contact an experienced lawyer to help with your hospitality insurance claim. Raizner Slania LLP can help you get full compensation under your policy. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.