Tag: Motel 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.

Hurricane Harvey wind damage insurance lawsuit

Katy, Texas Motel Owner Files Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Katy, Texas Motel owner against Arch Specialty Insurance Company after its insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

The plaintiff owns and operates a two-story motel in Katy, Texas that houses a lobby, 200 guest rooms, and laundry facilities. On August 25, 2017, one of the most devastating storms in United States history, Hurricane Harvey, came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Harvey had wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour. As a result of these extreme winds, Harvey caused significant damage to the plaintiff’s motel. Sizable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind, which caused further damage to the interiors, including the windows, drywall, insulation, and flooring.

Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Arch and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy. Arch utilized a preferred vendor to inspect the property on September 7, 2017. Arch denied the claim on December 10, 2017. According to the preferred the vendor for Arch, the claim was denied on the basis that “the roof system and building envelope did not sustain wind damage, which would have allowed water to enter. Further, the water entry is a direct result of water entering in the building through already present deficiencies in the roof and envelope systems.” To date, Arch has refused to pay for the property damage. As a result of Arch’s unreasonable denial, the plaintiff has suffered extreme economic hardship.

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 pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, and misrepresentation of the policy under which it affords coverage to the plaintiff.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Insurance Lawsuit

Even a year after Harvey’s landfall, many business owners are still struggling to put their lives back together. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or outright denied your Hurricane Harvey wind damage claim, Raizner Law can help. We are experienced insurance lawyers who are already helping hundreds of policyholders with their Hurricane Harvey wind damage insurance lawsuits. Call us today to schedule a free appointment with one of our lawyers to discuss your Hurricane Harvey wind damage insurance lawsuit.

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit

Raizner Law Files Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit On Behalf of Bay City, Texas Motel Owner

Raizner Law has filed a Hurricane Harvey bad faith insurance lawsuit on behalf of a Bay City, Texas motel owner against Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London after its insurance claim was wrongly denied under Texas law.

Hurricane Harvey Hits Texas

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane, inflicting billions of dollars in damages to private and public property in Fort Bend County and Matagorda County alone. As a result of Harvey’s extreme winds and rain when it hit Bay City and Matagorda County, the plaintiff’s motel property was substantially damaged. Sizeable portions of the property’s roof were compromised by wind, which caused significant damage to the ceilings, walls, and flooring.

Immediately after the storm, the plaintiff promptly filed a claim with Lloyd’s, alerting them to the extensive damages. However, because Lloyd’s does not have a single employee in Texas, the claim was assigned to a third-party administrator. Under Texas law, insurers have a “non-delegable duty” to responsibly handle claims, but Lloyd’s blatantly ignored this duty. The third-party administrator’s adjustment of the claim was disorganized, rife with delays, and left many of the insured’s questions unanswered.

Months after inspections of the property, Lloyd’s found “damages found to the property do not exceed your policy deductible,” in an effort to avoid contractual responsibilities and to save significant sums of money at the expense of the plaintiff.

Lloyd’s Operated In Bad Faith

Lloyd’s violated numerous sections of the Texas Insurance Code, including refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, failing to implement reasonable standards for the investigation of a claim, and misrepresentation of the policy under which it affords coverage to the insured. Our client also alleges Lloyd’s violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Get Help With Your Hurricane Harvey Insurance Lawsuit 

Insurance companies have no right to use bad faith tactics to avoid paying out on valid claims. Much of the Texas coast suffered catastrophic losses from Hurricane Harvey, and insurance companies are preventing businesses from recovering. If your insurance company is delaying, underpaying, or denying your Hurricane Harvey insurance claim, contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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.