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Business Owners Should Beware Improper Insurance Adjusting

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Business Owners Should Beware Improper Insurance Adjusting

A homeowner is suing his insurer in Louisiana, alleging that the adjuster intentionally undervalued his claim. Robert L. Green filed suit against Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on March 19 of this year.

The Louisiana Record reports that the insured's damages were grossly underestimated by the insurer, and that the claim asserts breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing (bad faith), negligent claims handling, negligent misrepresentation and violation of the State's insurance codes and statutes.[1]

Not only homeowners, but business owners as well should beware improper insurance adjusting practices carried out by insurance companies. Whether the claim is on a commercial general liability policy or any other business or commercial insurance, it is important to ensure that the process is appropriately handled.

In the State of Texas, the common law duty of good faith and fair dealing requires that the insurer deal in good faith with the insured in handling the claim. The Texas Insurance Code contains numerous provisions that protect insureds. This includes provisions, among many other things, requiring the insurance company:

  1. to effectuate a prompt, fair and equitable settlement of a claim to which liability has become reasonably clear;
  2. to adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of claims arising under their policies;
  3. to provide promptly a reasonable explanation, in relation to the facts or applicable law, for the denial of a claim; and
  4. to timely acknowledge receipt of the claim, to timely commence investigation of the claim and to notify the insureds in writing of the acceptance or rejection of the claim within 15 business days.

Insurance companies are also prohibited from misrepresenting the insurance policy terms or making misleading statements designed to deceive the insured. In the event the insured violates these provisions, the insured may recover damages from the claim, as well as statutory interest.

The attorneys at Murr Yanochik, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented clients in all aspects of insurance claims and insurance coverage. When the insurance company fails to pay on a proper claim – or worse, engages in deceptive and unfair acts and practices – it is important to have a good lawyer on your side. If you have a business or commercial insurance claim, give us a call.

George B. Murr
Murr Yanochik, P.L.L.C.
708 Main Street, Suite 700
Houston, Texas 77002

Office Direct: 713-966-6141
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