According to AccuWeather, a private weather service, the damage and loss toll from Hurricane Harvey continues to rise. Current estimates exceed $190 million, making Harvey the most potentially costly hurricane on record.
Businesses in Corpus Christi sustained heavy damages. Aerial views of Corpus Christi show businesses such as marinas, boat and RV storage, warehouses, retail stores, and others show significant property destruction. Hotels, restaurants, car dealers, churches and other houses of worship experienced losses after the hurricane.
Beloved restaurants like Snoopy’s and neighboring Scoopy’s as well as other stores and establishments beneath the JFK Causeway had broken doors, windows, roofing, walls, or structural damage after the storm. Farms in greater Corpus Christi lost barns, silos, and livestock.
Corpus Christi businesses have previously rebuilt after hurricanes for the last 140 years. For those with commercial insurance, it’s necessary to evaluate and estimate potential damages and submit first party insurance claims to carriers for property damage, business interruption, flood, wind, and tornado claims. Attempting to get back to work and resume business is usual can be overwhelming. For that reason, Corpus Christi business owners and directors can benefit from an experienced Texas commercial claims lawyer to guide them through the process from start to finish.
Major employers in Corpus Christi include the Independent School District, Naval Air Station, multiple H.E.B. grocery stores, ChristusSpohn Hospital, Corpus Christi Army Depot, the municipal government of Corpus Christi, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Corpus Christi Medical Center, Kiewit Offshore Services, Bay Ltd., Del Mar College, Nueces County, Flint Hills Resources, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Turner Industries, Valero Bill Greehey Oil Refinery, Kane Beef Processors, and Citgo.
According to the American Bank Center Corpus Christi Convention Center, approximately 30 percent of Corpus Christi’s economy is comprised of small to medium-sized privately owned businesses. Corpus Christi is made up of petrochemical manufacturers, aerospace, fabrication businesses, marine researchers, tourism, maritime shippers, and health care services.
After Hurricane Harvey:
At this moment, we don’t know how much damages were sustained by businesses in Corpus Christi. However, it’s important for each business submitting first party commercial insurance claims to an insurer that Texas law protects the insured from bad faith actions. In short, if you submit a claim to your insurer after paying premiums on time for years and the insurer doesn’t respond in the manner you’ve expected, it may be acting in bad faith.
A bad faith insurance claim may result in a variety of damages for the plaintiff. These damages vary from one claim to another depending on the following factors (and more):
A Corpus Christi business owner’s property insurance damage claim may be compromised by the insurance company’s bad faith practices. If you’d like to learn more about how to protect your rights—and level the playing field by bringing legal resources to bear on your behalf—you need an experienced Texas bad faith lawyer now.
Our experienced attorneys specialize in bad faith claims and seek to support our clients’ revenue streams. After successful management of thousands of severe weather claims over the years, we’re extremely familiar with the despicable tactics some insurance companies use to delay, deny, or underpay your valid commercial insurance claim. We will challenge these tactics and help make you whole.
Texas insurance laws recognize the insurer’s duty of fair dealing and good faith. This means the insurance company and the insured must sign a legal contract to agree to act fairly, honestly, and in good faith—at all times. In short, bad faith means the insurer is acting unreasonably (by failing to meet its contractual obligations) or dishonestly by misleading the insured, or by signing the insurance contract without any intention of fulfilling its terms and conditions.
The receipt of compensatory damages refers to the award the court grants to cover the insured’s losses that occur as a result of:
Additionally, Texas law allows the plaintiff to recover lawyer’s fees. If the insurer is determined to have acted in bad faith, it is legally responsible for payments of 1) repairs needed to restore the property after a covered event; 2) overhead expenses; 3) contractor fees; and 4) lawyer’s fees relating to the resolution of the bad faith claim (reasonable, necessary expenses).
The court may grant punitive damages for a bad faith claim in Texas. These damages are also known as “exemplary damages” intended to punish the insurer for its poor conduct when its duty was to repay the policyholder for losses sustained by the business.
Exemplary damages are rare but, when granted:
Texas law places a cap on punitive damages: exemplary damages awarded to the plaintiff can’t be higher than a sum equal to or greater than twice the amount of the insured’s economic damages plus a sum equal to noneconomic damages determined by the jury (which may not be greater than $750,000), or $200,000.
An experienced bad faith lawyer will explain if the cap might apply to your potential case.
If you believe a property, flood, tornado, wind, or hail damage claim was subject to insurer bad faith, contact our bad faith claim lawyers at the Mindiola Law Firm.
We work to get property damage and other claims paid using our knowledge and extensive experience in commercial claims who have met with roadblocks from their commercial insurance company. Contact the Mindiola Law Firm now at now.