Negligent Adjuster Fails to Report Windstorm Damage, Lawsuit Claims
A Texas couple whose home suffered severe windstorm damage is suing State Farm, alleging that the insurance company refused to pay for damages sustained to their home during the storm.
Plaintiffs Donald B. and his wife, Pamela B. were insured by State Farm under a property insurance policy. According to the windstorm damage lawsuit, the insurance policy covers all accidental direct physical loss to the property caused by a windstorm. In addition, the policy also covers the fair market value of lost rents for up to one year (twelve months), if their home became uninhabitable due to windstorm damage.
On Oct 31, 2015, a severe windstorm that caused several nearby tornadoes, also caused extensive windstorm damage to Donald and Pamela’s home. When the windstorm damage occurred, the couple was renting the property out to tenants.
The couple claims that all windstorm damage that occurred to their property was covered under the terms of their insurance policy with State Farm.
In response to the windstorm damage claim, State Farm sent an adjuster to inspect the claim. The couple claims that the insurance adjuster conducted a “substandard investigation” and was “either improperly trained or intentionally ignored the damages that were present.”
Donald and Pamela also claim that the adjuster failed to spend a proper amount of time inspecting the roof of the home and “either negligently or intentionally failed to document obvious damage on the entire roof caused by the windstorm.”
The adjuster’s report documented windstorm damage to 6.31 roof squares, when there was in fact damage to 21.33 squares, according to the Texas windstorm damage lawsuit.
The State Farm representative also claimed that there was no windstorm damage to the front, right and left elevations. The windstorm damage lawsuit claims that there was obvious windstorm damage to those areas and other areas of the property including gutters and siding.
The windstorm also caused extensive water damage throughout the interior of the home. This water damage included water that leaked into the walls, floors and throughout the entire interior.
According to the lawsuit, the insurance adjuster only noted minor damage in the hallway.
The couple claims that he “failed to conduct a reasonable inspection,” and instead, “pursued an outcome-oriented investigation which resulted in a biased, unfair and inequitable evaluation” of the couple’s losses.
He either missed or ignored the vast majority of the damages that were obviously present, the Texas couple claim.
The resulting report only indicated that repairs should cost $7, 827 including only $464.04 for the interior windstorm damage. However, the windstorm damage to the plaintiff’s property will cost them nearly $56,000.
In addition, because the property was inhabited by tenants at the time of the windstorm damage, it became uninhabitable and the tenants terminated their lease. The couple has lost $7,700 in rent payments during this time.
The plaintiffs are bringing claims of breach of contract, bad faith/unfair settlement practices, and prompt payment of claims statute.
This Texas Windstorm Damage Lawsuit is Case No. 16-CV-1324 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division.
If your property suffered windstorm damage and you believe your insurance company failed to cover all the damages, you may qualify to file a windstorm damage lawsuit. Contact The Emma Law Firm for a FREE in the Dallas area for a FREE case evaluation by filling out the form below.
At the time of this article The Emma Law Firm did not represent any of the individuals involved in this accident.