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Houston Law Maker Calls for Investigation of State Farm’s Handling of Ike Claims

Reportedly, a Houston area law maker has recently called for an investigation of State Farm Insurance after homeowners have alleged through a lawsuit that the insurer wrongfully denied more than 100,000 thousand roof related Hurricane Ike claims. Sources say the allegations are similar to ones recently litigated in lawsuits against the Texas Wind Insurance Association in that they allege State Farm wrongfully denied claims involving lifted shingles while asserting the roof material would reseal itself.

Reportedly, the lawsuit was filed in Galveston, Texas. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that State Farm considered lifted shingles that weren’t creased and had no debris under them as undamaged. Reportedly, the lawsuit also alleges that in some cases, State Farm told customers directly that lifted shingles would not be taken into account when assessing damages. The lawsuit alleges that State Farm choose to do this despite a bulletin from at least one shingle manufacturer that the shingles would not reseal after being lifted.

Further, the lawsuit alleges that in March of 2009, State Farm determined that it would cost $50 per square foot to repair lifted shingles but did not contact policy holders whose claims had been closed. According to the suit, those customers did not get compensation for lifted shingles unless they took the incentive to call back and get their claims reopened.

Reportedly, earlier this year, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and Texas Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan, which sell coverage to those who can’t find it in the private market, agreed to settle similar allegations brought by the Texas Department of Insurance. However, the attorney representing the homeowners against State Farm feels State Farm’s actions are more egregious than those of the insurers of last resort because State Farm actively advertises for its customers.

According to reports, the Texas Senator representing Houston has voiced his intention to write the Texas Insurance Department urging to investigate State Farm.