State Rep. Craig Eiland's A True Ike Victim: He's Suing The State's Insurance Group

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), a last-resort insurer, is dragging its feet on claims filed after Hurricane Ike, and Democratic State Rep. Craig Eiland isn't having it.

According to the Galveston County Daily News, last week Eiland filed suit against TWIA, as have 50 other coastal business owners, for its disproportionate compensation.

Eiland told Hair Balls, "They paid 60 percent, and I believe they should pay 100 percent."

He's been paid $60,000, or the equivalent of three months of business interruption, even though the office he leases for his Galveston law firm has been under construction for eight months.  

Eiland said, "I'd like to get the rest of my business interruption paid."

He said the company doesn't want to pay him more than that because the windstorm damage repairs would have only taken three months, and construction beyond that time is the result of flood damage.  

He's opted to hire a lawyer and is acting as a business owner as opposed to a legislator.  He said he didn't think it would be appropriate to represent himself during the legislative session.    
TWIA General Manager Jim Oliver said he could not comment on the case but did point out the number of lawsuits being filed compared to the number of claims being paid. He says 91,526 claims have been paid and only 140 lawsuits filed.  

Oliver said some policy holders file suits before TWIA ever gets a second chance, but very few cases end up in court.

"If they feel like we made a mistake in judgment...check back with us," Oliver said. "You get more money that way."

Unless your Eiland or one of the others bring suits.

"I've heard from constituents and others who believe it's unfair, (and) based on my experience they're not paying what they should," Eiland said.

"I would not characterize it as unfair," Oliver said. "But I would indicate there are instances where we should pay more."

Whether or not that's good news for Eiland remains to be seen.

TWIA insures 230,000 coastal properties. Eiland's happens to be one of those, and unless they pay him his money, he ain't going away.

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