$850,000 Storm Damage Claim Jury Verdict:
Owners Insurance company denied the claims of a condominium complex that had sustained hail damage to its 12 unit complex. The jury found that the roof damage and secondary water damage to the units were related to the storm and awarded Plaintiff damages for breach of contract and bad faith. The Lyon Firm represented the Plaintiffs along with Lubel Voyls, LLP.
Questions about Storm Damage Claims
Document the Evidence to Support the Storm Damage Claim.
As soon as you have identified initial damage, photograph all storm damage and provide the evidence to your insurance agent. If damage is severe, cover damaged roofs or walls to prevent further wind and rain damage. Be very insistent with insurance agents after a storm or it is likely the company will wait until you give up on a claim.
If possible, document before and after photos. Insurance companies may deny claims by arguing that certain storm damage was actually already there before a storm. If you have questions, call an Ohio attorney experienced in handling storm damage lawsuits and litigating cases against insurance companies.
Denial, Delay and Underpayment of a Valid Storm Damage Claim.
The most obvious type of bad faith from an insurance company is the outright denial of payment from a valid property damage claim. The company or agent may cite a vague reason for the denial or avoid discussing the situation directly until a policyholder takes legal action against them. Other forms of bad faith include the following:
- Unreasonably Delayed Payment—claims can be delayed so long that policyholders cannot wait to fix serious damage and have to pay for home or car repairs out of pocket.
- Lack of Attention and Investigation—insurance companies may fail to properly investigate or defend a claim.
- Underpayment of Claim—insurance companies frequently pay the insured less than the policy stipulates. If an insurance company underpays insurance claims without a good reason, and ignores obvious costs and estimates, it may be acting in bad faith.