Insurance Issues Part One: Amarillo homeowners suing insurance following hail storm

Insurance Issues Part One: Amarillo homeowners suing insurance following hail storm
AMARILLO, TX - More than six months later, the mess left by the massive Amarillo hail storm back in May is still keeping dozens of Amarillo businesses busy, including area attorneys.

Right now hundreds of property owners in Amarillo are still waiting on repairs, many because they're still fighting their insurance.

For Amarillo auto-shops, roofing companies and contractors, the May 28th hail storm still means money. But for Charles and Nikole Harriss...

"Everybody's out to make a buck," Nikole said. "Everybody gets money except for the people who made the claim."

They're about $4,000 in debt. The day after the storm, a Germania Insurance adjuster came to their home to survey the totaled roof, shattered windows, downed fence and other damaged property.

The couple was approved for $13,000, but the roof alone cost nearly that much.

"So we had to use the money for the windows for the painting, the siding, the windows, and the fence to pay for the roof, and couldn't get anything else fixed," Charles said.

After months of fighting their insurance, the Harriss's finally decided to sue with the help of
Amarillo attorney Mike Warner.      

Warner put up a billboard near 34th street and Coulter more than 6 months after the storm that reads "Is your insurance giving you hail? Call Mike Warner." 

"When you have a storm of this magnitude, you're going to have people ripping people off. And this one's no different," Warner said.  "They don't care, they don't bleed red, they bleed green."

Warner says he has more than two dozen clients fighting insurance companies who refuse to pay up after hasty inspections.

"You get a lot of drive by appraisals in these kind of things, people don't even get up on the roof, and then they tell you whether or not there's a dent on your roof, they can't tell," Warner said.

As for the Harriss's, they just want to be able to pay off their new roof and windows.

"I just want what's entitled to me. It's the first claim I've ever had," Nikole said.

They hope their first-ever attorney can help get them what they deserve.

"The people who have paid their premium for years and years they're just not being treated fairly," Warner said.

Warner says any home-owner is entitled to a re-assessment by their insurance adjuster, and if that's denied it may be time to call an attorney.

Germania Insurance declined to comment.