Tag: Hotel Property Damage

Corpus Christi Hotel Property Damage Lawyers

Corpus Christi Hotels Still Struggling With Hurricane Harvey Claims

For cities along the Texas coast, like Corpus Christi, tourism is a huge industry – or rather it was before Hurricane Harvey. It’s been over five months since Hurricane Harvey came ashore, but many businesses, particularly hotels and motels, are struggling to get back on their feet.

Hotels and motels face unique challenges after a natural disaster. In the case of Hurricane Harvey, many hotels and motels in Corpus Christi suffered massive amounts of flood and wind damage. Unfortunately for hotel and motel owners, commercial insurance claims can take a long time to resolve, and even longer in the event of a large-scale natural disaster.

To add insult to injury, many Corpus Christi hotel owners are discovering their insurance companies aren’t as honest as they thought. Hurricane Harvey caused billions of dollars in property damage throughout Texas, and insurance companies are doing everything in their power to mitigate their own financial losses by avoiding paying out.

Hotel owners who have filed insurance claims are facing unnecessary delays, bad faith tactics, and outright denials. While hotel owners are not the only ones facing these challenges, the nature of their businesses means the effects of this insurance company bad behavior are hitting their economic viability particularly hard.

When an insurance company unnecessarily delays a claim, hotel owners lose money when they need it the most. Just a small amount of wind or water damage can shut an entire hotel down, causing them to lose business. Many hotel owners are being forced to pay for repairs themselves or risk losing business. If damages go unrepaired, a hotel owner can even face challenges with the franchisor, and potentially even lose their flag.

To make matters worse, tourism to hurricane affected locales like Corpus Christi has seen a dramatic decrease since Hurricane Harvey, making it even more difficult for hotel and motel owners to return to normal. The difficulty of rebuilding is causing some hotel and motel owners to sell their damaged properties at a huge loss.

Rebuilding after a natural disaster can be a difficult process, but business owners aren’t alone and they have legal rights. If a hotel owner pays their insurance premiums, they deserve full coverage under their policy. After a natural disaster, many insurance companies take advantage of policyholders who are desperate or unaware of their rights by offering lowball settlements. This is wrong, and by partnering with an experienced Texas insurance lawyer, hotel and motel owners can get full compensation for their property damage.

Corpus Christi Hotel Property Damage Lawyers

At Raizner Slania LLP, we understand that your hotel isn’t just your business; it’s your livelihood. We know how insurance companies try to avoid paying out on claims and fight aggressively for our clients to get them the most under their policies. If your insurance company is delaying your claim, or if they have underpaid or denied your claim, don’t wait to call us. We can help you get your hotel up and running again. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Harris County Hail Damage Lawsuit Attorneys

Harris County Hotel Owner Files Hail Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a hail damage insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Harris County hotel owner against Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe, Ltd. and Engle Martin & Associates.

April 2015 Hailstorm

On April 19, 2015, a severe hailstorm swept through Harris County and caused substantial damage to the plaintiff’s property. In addition to the hailstorm, that same week there were three days of high winds that also impacted the property. As a result, the roof, HVAC, stucco, windows, exterior, and interior of the property were damaged.

Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Liberty Mutual to cover the cost of repairs to the property. Liberty Mutual assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents that were inadequate and improperly trained. Specifically, Liberty Mutual assigned the claim to Engle Martin & Associates as the third party adjusting firm to handle the claim, and Engle Martin in turn assigned the claim to its internal adjuster.

The internal adjuster was given investigative responsibility and certain decision-making authority, although he would have no authority to issue a significant claim payment, only a denial.

The adjusting firm and its internal adjuster conducted an unreasonable and inadequate investigation and denied any wind, hail, and water damage to the roof, HVAC, stucco, windows, exterior, and interior. He also grossly undervalued what damage he did accept. Specifically, the internal adjuster ignored facts supporting the plaintiff’s assertions of covered wind, hail, and water damages in April 2015 and instead only accepted facts that would support the pre-determined denial of the property damage.

Because of the internal adjuster’s haphazard investigation, no payments have been issued under the policy. Liberty Mutual and Engle Martin wrongfully denied the insurance claim and delayed the plaintiff’s claim for property repairs. This caused the plaintiff significant economic impact, worry, distress, and continuing economic and physical damage.

The Insurance Claim Was Wrongfully Denied Under Texas Law

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 promptly provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and failure to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Harris County Hail Damage Lawsuit Attorneys

Policyholders who pay their premiums are entitled to the coverage provided under their policies. If your insurance carrier has grossly underpaid or wrongfully denied your hail damage claim, the experienced Houston hail damage lawsuit attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

London

McLennan County Hotel Damage Lawsuit

Our client, a limited partnership investment company and commercial property owner, has filed suit against Liberty Mutual, a third-party adjusting firm, Engle, Martin & Associates, Inc., and its adjuster in McLennan County District Court. Our client was forced to file this lawsuit after its insurance claims for damages to its local hotel property sustained in wind and hailstorms were wrongfully denied and underpaid.

Hotel Damage Lawsuit Facts

According to the Hotel Damage Lawsuit complaint, there were severe wind and hailstorms on October 4, 2104, which caused serious damage to the hotel, including the roofs, HVAC, exteriors, interiors, and more. Right after the storm, our client filed a claim under its policy with Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Liberty, a foreign insurer, assigned Engle, Martin & Associates, Inc., a Georgia company, to handle the insurance adjustment, and they, in turn assigned an individual adjuster. Our client alleges that the adjuster failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim, performed substandard inspections of the property, and prepared a damage estimate that grossly undervalued the destruction of the property. The adjuster also said that the damages were not in fact caused by the hailstorm and windstorm, but instead resulted from prior conditions and wear and tear.

The complaint alleges that Liberty Mutual Insurance, Engle Martin, and the individual adjuster wrongfully denied and underpaid our client’s hotel property damage claims under the policy. Plaintiff was not fully paid under the insurance policy; therefore, it hired its own consultant to independently evaluate the property damage. Plaintiff’s consultant identified substantial damage far beyond that the adjuster estimated. Liberty Mutual still refused to pay. This has caused additional damages to the property, including but not limited to further interior problems and roof damage.

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, a failure to timely commence investigation of the claim, a claim for statutory interest and attorneys’ fees, breach of contract, breach of duty of bad faith and fair dealing, a claim for punitive damages for bad faith, violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA), and fraud. In all, our client is asking for in excess of $1 million in damages for their losses, as well as interest and attorneys’ fees.

Hotel Property Damage Claim Lawyers

The excuses insurance companies like Liberty Mutual give for refusing payment are often the same. An insurance company may try to avoid payment or try to limit its payments. Insurance policies are meant to provide property owners coverage and protection when disaster strikes, but insurance providers do not always provide this security when presented with a claim. Our experienced insurance litigation team has handled commercial property damage claims across the country. We are here to help.