200 Bolivar Peninsula residents file class action against TWIA

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 21, 2010, 7:37am

Satellite view of Hurricane Ike in September 2008

GALVESTON - Two Galveston attorneys have sued the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on behalf of about 210 Bolivar Peninsula residents who claim the insurer did not pay them adequately for Hurricane Ike damages.

The suits, filed by Tony G. Buzbee and Darrell Apffel on Jan. 15 in Galveston County District Court, allege that TWIA arbitrarily chose to pay a small fraction of the value of the plaintiffs' affected residences.

The plaintiffs are seeking class action status for the litigation.
According to the homeowners, the defendant's reported decisions have deprived them of any way to start anew.

Ike, a Category 2 storm, came ashore on Galveston Island with 110-mph winds and a 15-foot storm surge the morning of Sept. 13, 2008, damaging numerous residences and businesses and rendering thousands of residents homeless. The hurricane left miles of slabs which used to be freestanding houses from Port Bolivar to High Island.

Hundreds of coastal residents who sustained damage from Ike have subsequently sued TWIA, claiming the insurer deceived policyholders. About 900 out of 93,000 policyholders who filed claims post-Ike have taken the windstorm association to court.

A Jan. 16 Galveston County Daily News article reports that TWIA has started to speed up the pace with which it would settle claims.

The windstorm association has settled 300 Ike suit leaving 1,000 remaining on the docket, according to Insurance News Net.

More News