Experienced insurance law lawyers in Hamilton, Texas, know the above is true. This obligation is illustrated in a 2017, hail damage claim opinion out of the Southern District, Houston Division. The opinion is styled, Metro Hospitality Partners, Ltd., d/b/a Crowne Plaza Hotel v. Lexington Insurance Company.
When a business sues its property insurer and the type of damage is clearly covered, the usual pattern is that the insurance company has failed to pay anything, has failed to pay anything close to what the insured claimed, or has taken too long to pay. This case is different. Here, the property insurer promptly adjusted the claim the insured presented and paid a large sum within the month after the hailstorm that damaged the insured’s hotel. The insurer identified and paid what it concluded were the remaining amounts owed about two months after that. The insured claimed that more money was owed. The insurer asked for documents and information substantiating the demand for additional payment. The insured refused. The policy required the insured to “cooperate” with the insurer. What we have here, says the insurer, is a failure to cooperate. What we have here, says the insured, is a breach of the insurance contract and of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
After a hail storm, the insured, Metro, promptly notified its Lexington. Lexington quickly responded, inspected, and identified the amount of covered damage and the amount it owed. The parties disputed whether the hailstorm damage justified an insurer-paid new roof, or whether normal wear and tear made a new roof Metro’s responsibility.