Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

Ever handled a hail loss from a year prior to the actual date and been asked to determine if the loss is covered? The attached article outlines three defenses that are available and what a Federal judge in Texas thought was sufficient to sustain those defenses.

Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

by Dick Bennetthail damage

Hailstorm claims for damage to roofs often involve belated notification that an already old or damaged structure has been further compromised.  In a recent Texas case, the court provided a primer for carriers confronting such claims, addressing a trifecta of defenses available – lack of causation, late notice, and prejudice.  The case is Hamilton Properties v. American Insurance Company, 2014 WL 3055801, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91882  (N.D.Tex., July 7, 2014).

Plaintiff Hamilton Properties acquired the Dallas Plaza Hotel in 2006 and mothballed the structure in February of 2009.  The hotel was insured by American Insurance Company (AIC) from February through September of 2009.  In 2012, the policyholder notified AIC that it was making claim for roof and water damage allegedly sustained during a July 8, 2009 storm that dumped ping-pong sized hailstones on the city.  After investigating the loss, the insured denied liability, and Hamilton Properties brought suit.

AIC promptly moved for summary judgment, and Judge Jane J. Boyle granted the motion on July 7, 2014 in an opinion that contains a thoughtful discussion of three of the principal defenses that insurers have to the all-too-frequent claims for hail damage to roofs. Read Entire Article

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