by Jim Orr

Standing up for the rights of a Texas consumer, our law firm, Heygood, Orr & Pearson, has just filed a lawsuit against Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana, Home State County Mutual Insurance Company, and one of their insurance adjusters alleging violations of the Texas Insurance Code, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act, and breach of the insurance policy contract.

Last summer a devastating fire consumed our client’s motor home as well as his nearby workshop. Little did he know, his troubles were only beginning.  Immediately, the insurance companies treated our client like the enemy instead of treating him like a customer who had been paying them insurance premiums to cover just such an event. The insurance adjusters delayed and argued and fought with our client at every step. Ultimately, despite our client providing the insurance companies everything they have asked for, the insurance companies have still failed to pay almost $97,000 we believe they owe under the insurance policies.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson was happy to take on the fight. We have been helping regular folks fight powerful insurance companies for years.

The lawsuit against Safeco and Home County Mutual alleges that the companies violated Texas law by failing to attempt in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements with respect to items for which the Plaintiff was seeking insurance benefits. The lawsuit suit further alleges that the insurance companies:

  • have refused and continue to refuse to pay Plaintiff the insurance benefits to which he is entitled under the Policies as a result of the fire;
  • delayed paying Plaintiff other insurance benefits to which he was entitled, and paid same only after Plaintiff refused to give up;
  • ignored communications from Plaintiff, failed to timely respond to communications from Plaintiff;
  • failed to promptly provide Plaintiff reasonable explanations of the basis in the policy, in relation to the facts or applicable law, for their denial of claims or offers to settle claims;
  • failed within a reasonable time to affirm or deny coverage with respect to items for which Plaintiff was seeking benefits;
  • misrepresented material facts and policy provisions relating to coverage at issue;
  • refused to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation;
  • compelled Plaintiff to file the  lawsuit to recover benefits due under the Policies by offering substantially less than the amount owed;
  • failed to timely complete their investigation;
  • failed to timely request from Plaintiff all items, statements, and forms required by Defendants; and
  • failed to notify Plaintiff in writing of the acceptance or rejection of claims not later than the 15th business day after the date the Defendants received all items, statements, and forms requested to secure final proof of loss.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the insurance company defendants misconduct was committed knowingly and intentionally. As a result, we are seeking not only damages but three times the amount of those damages under applicable Texas laws designed to protect Texans in situations like this.  The suit also seeks to recover our client’s attorney fees and 18% interest on his damages as a result of violations of Chapter 542 of the Texas Insurance Code. The lawsuit has been filed in the District Court for Dallas County, Texas.

Texas law imposes many specific requirements on insurance companies when they are investigating and evaluating your claim. Sometimes insurance companies let their own greed get in the way and they fail to comply with the law. If you are having trouble with a claim, we can help make sure your insurance company is following the law. For a free legal consultation, call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or send us a message by completing our free online case evaluation form.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.