Couple sues insurer over claim for boat damage

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 2, 2011

GALVESTON � A Harris County couple asserts their insurer underpaid them for their boat after it sustained damages in a windstorm last year, recent court documents say.

Carl and Linda Murphy's lawsuit against Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. and individual adjuster Bart Jennings says the defendants failed and refused to properly compensate them for their 1997 Carver 320 Voyager Hull though the vessel is covered under the Murphys' policy.

The suit was filed April 18 in Galveston County District Court.

An April 19, 2010, windstorm resulted in "significant damage" to the boat's bimini top, windshield and outside carpeting on its rear as well as interior flooding. The plaintiffs add the vessel was pushed against the pier, marring the side of the hull.

They filed a claim with Progressive, asking the insurer to cover repair costs. Progressive then assigned Jennings to adjust said claim.

The Murphys say the adjuster failed to appear for an appointment and hastily inspected the property in the second one.

"Jennings conducted a substandard inspection of the plaintiff's property," the original petition states.

"Specifically, he conducted a hurried and careless inspection and assessment of the plaintiffs' damages and failed to note all of the windstorm damages to the property."

The suit insists the defendants undervalued the aforementioned damages and set out to deny proper coverage, adding the Murphys experienced a delay in their ability to make full repairs.

"To this date, the plaintiffs have yet to receive full payment they are entitled to under the policy," it says.

They consequently seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Mynor "Eddie" Rodriguez of Houston is representing the Murphys, and Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0649

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