In the midst of Hurricane Rita judgements and appeals, the Southeast Texas record recently profiled a woman who, albeit bravely, chose to represent herself in her appeal against her insurance company and paid the price. Mary Harmon, who felt her insurers, National Lloyds and the Kenneth Denby Insurance Agency, acted in bad faith when they denied her claim, went through the primary steps by herself but then chose to go it alone.
A year after filing an appeal over her Hurricane Rita insurance lawsuit, Mary Harmon had never filed a brief, leading justices on Texas’ Ninth Court of Appeals to dismiss her case.
In August 2006, Harmon filed a suit against National Lloyds Insurance and the Kenneth Denby Insurance Agency in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the two insurers stiffed her on her Hurricane Rita policy claim.
According to her suit, Harmon purchased a National Lloyds home insurance policy through Denby on May 1, 2005. She alleges the defendants never informed her that her policy excluded windstorm damage.
While Harmon was right to hire an attorney, policyholders need to remain vigilant and allow the legal process to develop instead of moving on if there is a snag. Regardless, this case demonstrates a frequent blame game that occurs in regards to storm damage and the wind versus flood debate, as does the lack of consistent explanation from agents on coverage. Getting acquainted with your policy while at the same time making sure to immediately contact a legal professional in the event a claim is denied or undervalued is a must for residents of the Gulf Coast area.
If you need legal counsel, contact the Berniard Law Firm. Specializing in insurance appeals and disputes, our attorneys will work hard to make sure you get the money you deserve.