Beaumont couple claims Voyager Indemnity under paid Ike claim

Kelly Holleran Feb. 25, 2009, 12:52pm

A Jefferson County couple has filed suit against Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company and an adjuster, alleging they were not paid money to which they were entitled after Hurricane Ike destroyed sections of their home.

When Fernando and Amada Orozcos' property at 730 Pipkin in Beaumont sustained dwelling and contents damages on Sept. 13 during Hurricane Ike, they submitted a claim to Voyager, which had insured their property, according to the complaint filed Feb. 17 in Jefferson County District Court.

The Orozcos requested Voyager cover the cost of repairs, plus additional living expenses, the suit states.

However, Voyager improperly paid the Orozcos claim for the repairs of their property, even though the policy provided coverage for losses, they claim.

Voyager told the Orozcos it would not pay the full proceeds of the policy, although demand was made for it, which constitutes a breach of the insurance contract, the suit states.

"Defendants misrepresented to Plaintiffs that the damage to the property was not in excess to the amount paid, even though the damage was caused by a covered occurrence," the suit states.

Voyager also failed to make an attempt to settle the Orozcos' claim in a fair manner, a violation of the Texas Insurance Code, unfair settlement practices, they claim.

The company failed to explain the reason for its offer of an inadequate settlement, another violation of the Texas Insurance Code, according to the complaint.

Voyager failed to affirm or deny coverage of the claim within a reasonable time frame, the suit states.

It refused to fully compensate the Orozcos, even though it did not conduct a reasonable investigation, which constitutes another violation of the Texas Unfair Competition and Unfair Practices Act, they allege.

Voyager breached its contract with the Orozcos by refusing to pay the policy, according to the suit.

It also committed numerous violations of the Texas Unfair Compenstaion and Unfair Parctices Act.

The Orozcos are seeking three times their actual damages, plus 18 percent post-judgment interest per annum and exemplary damages.

Jason M. Byrd and Wyatt D. Snider of Snider and Byrd in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E183-304

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