What Can Happen When Insurance Company Refuses To Pay

Fort Worth Insurance lawyers will like telling clients about a case that went to trial in Jefferson County, Texas, in May 2013.
This blog tells one story after another about situations involving insurance and claims. The Southeast Texas Record, a Legal Journal ran a story titled, “Hurrican Ike Trial: Jurors Hit National Lloyds With $915K Verdict.” Here is what the article tells us:
A Jefferson County jury recently found National Lloyds Insurance committed deceptive trade practices in the handling of a policy claim following Hurricane Ike, awarding the plaintiff nearly a million dollars in damages.
For almost a month, a dozen area residents heard testimony as to whether National Lloyds Insurance and Compass Adjusting Services failed to fully compensate Latosha Lewis following Hurricane Ike.
Lewis filed suit against the two companies on Sept. 9, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court.
The case went to trial on April 29 and ended May 20.
According to the charge of the court filed May 22, jurors found National Lloyds failed to honor its policy with Lewis, engaged in deceptive trade practices when handling her claim, and is guilty of breach of good faith dealing.
Jurors awarded Lewis $265,757 in actual and additional damages, $300,000 in exemplary damages and $350,000 in fees to her attorney.
According to testimony during the trial, Lewis’ roof was damaged during Hurricane Rita. Her insurer compensated her and recommended she replace the roof. However, she used the money to repair the roof instead.
On May 8, jurors heard testimony from one of the defendants’ adjusters, who testified Lewis would have had to replace her roof after Hurricane Rita to compensate for roof damages following Hurricane Ike, since the insurer does not pay for damages twice.
According to the lawsuit, on September 13, 2008, Ike struck, causing serious damage to Lewis’ property. Following the hurricane, she filed a claim with Lloyds, needing compensation to repair her Beaumont home.
“The claim was not properly investigated or paid,” the suit states. “Lloyds hired Compass to adjust the claim. The adjuster assigned to the claim failed to conduct a thorough and complete inspection of the property.”
The suit accuses Lloyds of breaching its contract by failing to perform its contractual obligations, deceptive trade practices and insurance code violations.
Every case may not end the same as this one. Even this one may not still be standing after an appeal. Only time will tell. But one thing is certain. Without an insurance lawyer, the insurance company would be getting away with denying another claim, they should have paid.