Man sues boat insurer over hurricane damage claim

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 8, 2011, 8:24am

GALVESTON - Brian Demary is suing Allstate Property and Casualty Co. and employee Paul Pleasant over their allegedly improper handling of his boat claim.

A lawsuit filed May 27 in Galveston County District Court accuses the defendants of practicing unfair settlement practices in relation to compensating Demary for his storm-damaged vessel.

Court papers show that the complainant owned a 38-foot Downeaster which was insured under Allstate's Texas boat owners policy.

Hurricane Ike inflicted "severe damage" to the vessel during its Sept. 13, 2008, landfall on Galveston Island.

Demary subsequently filed a claim with Allstate, which in turn assigned Pleasant to perform an adjustment.

The suit alleges the defendants mishandled Demary's claim.

"Allstate and Pleasant performed an outcome-based review of the claim with the intent and effect of grossly underestimating the damage to the plaintiff's vessel, delaying payment and an ultimate decision on the claim and grossly under-compensating the plaintiff," it says.

Demary insists "the defendants knowingly misrepresented the purpose of their delays in handling the plaintiff's claims, the true nature and extent of the plaintiff's covered loss and Allstate misrepresented the benefits and coverage afforded by the Texas boat owners policy."

The defendants' alleged actions "resulted in further deterioration and loss of use of the insured vessel," the suit says.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorney John C. Grazier of Houston.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 11-cv-0857

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