Tag: Property Damage

Lawmakers from Hurricane Hit Communities Enabled and Voted for the Insurance Bill

Texas Lawmakers From Some of the Hardest Hit Communities Voted For House Bill 1774

As the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey continues to worsen in the heavily impacted areas, local heroes have emerged.  The long list of first responders, civic leaders, and volunteers include Aransas County Emergency Management, Texas Task Forces for Search and Rescue, numerous departments of public safety (DPS), and scores of local fire and police departments. Thousands of local citizens have donated boats and time to perform impromptu rescue services and over 3,000 local search and rescue operations have been completed.  True leadership is emerging – Constables are riding along with their men and women and personally carrying out these rescue missions.  Even Houston Texans star J.J. Watt has waded in, personally donating $100,000.00 and setting up a donation website.

While we celebrate these first responders and heroes in our communities, we also need to be mindful of how poor leadership can have devastating impacts on damaged communities, and there are glaring examples of that as well.

The powerful, foreign insurance lobby used local Texas legislators, lobbyists, and downtown lawyers to pass House Bill 1774, which creates new challenges for Texas families, small businesses, churches, and property owners.  This part could not be made up – the law takes effect this Friday, September 1, 2017.  The insurance companies and financial institutions behind this damaging new law are based far away from Texas and its impacted communities. Many are based on Wall Street, in Massachusetts, and as distant as London, Zurich, and Tokyo.  But these foreign insurance carriers could not pass the laws themselves, they needed local Texas enablers willing to push the legislation forward, putting foreign interests above the well-being of Texans and our communities.

Galveston, Dickinson, League City, and other local communities fighting through this natural disaster have their local Representative, Greg Bonnen, to thank if their insurance carriers do not fully and promptly pay their storm claims.  Bonnen authored and pushed this anti-Texan legislation through. Harvey-impacted citizens in Matagorda, Lake Jackson, Angleton, and Brazoria can ask Dennis Bonnen why he sponsored House Bill 1774.  Look to see whether your own local Representative sponsored this legislation, but be prepared to be disappointed – there were over 65 Texas sponsors.

Rockport and Corpus Christi remain devastated by this Category 4 Hurricane, and what benefit to Texans could Corpus Christi and Rockport State Representative Geanie Morrison have possibly identified when she co-sponsored this insurance bill, making it much harder for her own constituents to hold an insurance company accountable for unlawful behavior. Those in West Houston should closely analyze whose interests Representative Dwayne Bohac had in mind when he sponsored the insurers’ windstorm bill. In Friendswood, Texas Senator Larry Taylor carried the water for the conglomerate foreign insurance carriers as he sponsored the Senate version of the bill.  Houston Senator Paul Bettencourt did the same.  Numerous other Texas State Representatives and State Senators failed to stand up to the out-of-state insurance lobby.  Their communications teams will likely laud their civic participation in helping clean up after Hurricane Harvey, despite their detrimental work authoring, sponsoring, and voting for House Bill 1774 instead of look after the property rights of Texas families and businesses.

Texas Lawmakers Picked Big Foreign Insurers’ Money Over Texans’ Property Rights

As citizen-heroes continue to pour in to help their neighbors all along southeast Texas, it is important to pay tribute to what makes Texas truly great – courage, even in adverse times, and a willingness to fight for what is right.   It is also important to identify what Texas legislators voted to benefit foreign insurance and financial institution interests, rather than their own neighbors, friends, and family members.

residential property damage

Denton and Tarrant County Hail Damage Lawsuit

Our client, a local property owner, was forced to file a lawsuit against Liberty Insurance Corporation after their hail and wind claim on two multi-million dollar residential properties was denied.

March 2016 Wind and Hail Storm

On March 23, 2016, the plaintiff’s two properties were damaged by a severe wind and hailstorm that swept through Denton and Tarrant counties. As a result, the roofs of both properties were substantially damaged. Immediately upon discovering the destruction, the plaintiff filed insurance claims with Liberty for damages caused by the storm.

In response to the claim, Liberty assigned each claim to local adjusters who were poorly trained for this type of claim. The local adjusters performed a haphazard inspection of the properties resulting in grossly undervalued damage assessments. The adjusters ignored obvious damage and refused to engage the appropriate consultants to evaluate the true scope of damage.

Liberty relied solely on the haphazard inspections of the local adjusters and represented to the plaintiff the damage was not covered under the policy, when in fact it was. Liberty has wrongfully denied one of the insurance claims, and has failed to inform the plaintiff of the decision regarding the second claim.

Liberty Violated Texas Insurance Law

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including the failure to effectuate a fair, prompt, and equitable resolution of a claim, failure to implement reasonable standards for investigation, and failure to provide reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, among others. Additionally, our client also cites violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Texas Wind and Hail Damage Attorneys

Although you may rely on your insurance policy to protect your property in case of a loss or disaster, your insurance carrier may not always be on your side. If your insurance carrier denied, delayed, underpaid, or disputed a Texas hail damage claim, you need an experienced team of insurance lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have been extremely successful in obtaining fair compensation for the victims of insurance bad faith. Contact a homeowners insurance lawyer at Raizner Slania today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.


Damaging Fort Worth Hailstorm

Texas residents are no strangers to major storms; however, last Thursday, March 17, 2016, Fort Worth experienced a severe wind and hailstorm that caused property damage to homes and businesses across the city.

Two separate storms with damaging hail ripped through eastern Parker County early Thursday morning around 4:00 a.m. Several hours later, another round of hail pelted the Fort Worth area, disrupting the morning commutes of many local residents. While meteorologists anticipated several storms in the area, the severity of the storms came as surprise with hail as big as tennis balls, or 2.5 inches in diameter.

Some areas of Forth Worth were subjected to severe flooding when hail clogged up street storm drains, and Fort Worth firefighters had to rescue a woman trapped in her car surrounded by waist-high water.

Within the first 12 hours after the storm, over 6,000 auto insurance claims had been filed due to hail damage; and, while it is too early tell how much hail damage will cost property owners, it’s safe to say it won’t be cheap.

For some Fort Worth residents, the March hailstorm was particularly damaging because many of their roofs were replaced just last year after another severe hailstorm hit the area.

Raizner Slania, Texas Hailstorm Lawyers

Hailstorms can cause devastating damage to real estate and businesses. Property damage can include roof, interior, exterior, HVAC, and other damages. In addition to property damage, your company could suffer loss of business during the time that it takes to get your building repaired. This might make you entitled to file both a commercial property insurance claim and a business interruption claim.

Insurance carriers receive tens of thousands of hail damage claims every year, and they know that most customers are unfamiliar with the specific terms of their policies and usually lack the knowledge to fight back when claims are denied. The attorneys at Raizner Slania have represented insurance companies in the past, giving us valuable insight into how they conduct business. Our experienced team of attorneys has helped home and business owners across the country get the compensation they deserve to repair properties damaged by forces outside their control.

If your commercial property insurance claim has been denied, underpaid, or delayed, we can help you get the payments due under your policy. When an insurance carrier acts in bad faith, you have a right to hire an attorney to help you with your claim. Contact the litigation professionals at Raizner Slania today to review your claim.

Commercial Insurance

Commercial Plaintiff Sues Insurance Provider in Independence, Kansas

Our client, the owner of a multi-tenant office building, filed suit against Seneca Insurance Company after its property damage claims were denied and not properly paid according to Kansas law.

February 2015 Freezing Temperatures Cause Water Damage

On February 5, 2015, our client suffered severe property damage when freezing temperatures caused the boiler system in its commercial structure to fail. Upon realizing the damages, the plaintiff immediately filed an insurance claim under its policy for the water damage caused by the failed boiler.

April 2015 Wind and Hailstorm

On April 20, 2015, a severe windstorm and hailstorm caused property damage to the roof system, HVAC, windows, exterior, interior, ceilings, furnishings, and more. Again, upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff immediately filed another property damage insurance claim.

The insurance carrier assigned agents and adjusters to assess the property damage who were not qualified to handle these types of commercial property claims. Our client asserts that the adjuster performed a haphazard inspection of the property and refused to acknowledge obvious visible damage. Throughout the claims process, the insurance carrier refused to provide answers to questions presented by the insured and also otherwise delayed the process. Because of the inadequate inspection of the property, both commercial insurance property damage claims were denied and no payments were issued.

The Insurance Carrier Acted in Bad Faith

The insurance carrier wrongfully denied our client’s property damage claims for repairs under the insurance policy. Because of this, our client was forced to hire its own consultant, at its own expense, to independently evaluate the property damage. Our client’s consultant identified substantial damage far beyond what the insurance carrier and/or adjusters acknowledged. Despite this, the insurance carrier still refused to pay for necessary repairs to the property as required under the terms of the insurance policy.

Our client asserts that Seneca Insurance breached its contract by refusing to comply with its obligation to pay policy benefits, and breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing by not fairly and in good faith processing its claim and by refusing to properly investigate and effectively denying insurance benefits.

Commercial Insurance Claims Attorneys

If your commercial insurance carrier has underpaid, denied, delayed, or disputed a property damage claim, the experienced insurance litigation attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. We handle all bad faith insurance litigation cases nationwide on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay us anything unless we help you recover on your claim. Please contact us today to discuss your case.