A federal court in Texas held that a property owner’s affidavit and an estimate of the cost of repairs to the property are insufficient to show a covered loss in granting insurer’s motion for summary judgment. One Way Investments Inc. v. Century Surety Company, et al., No. 3:14-cv-2839-D (N.D. Tex. Sept. 21, 2016).
The insured claimed that a hail storm caused damage to the roof and appurtenances and the interior of its property. After inspection of the property, the insurer’s adjuster estimated the cost of damage was less than the amount of the insured’s deductible. The insurer filed summary judgment arguing that the policy did not cover wear-and-tear damage and that the insured had not shown evidence from which a jury could allocate covered loss (because of wind and hail) from non-covered loss (because of wear and tear). The insured pointed to the fact that the roof leaked after, but not before, the storm and provided an estimate of the cost of repairs.
The court granted summary judgment and reasoned that the insured failed to produce evidence that would enable a reasonable jury to estimate the amount of damage or the proportionate part of damage caused by a covered cause, i.e., hail and wind. The evidence provided was silent as to whether and what damage was from wear and tear, poor construction or any other causes. The court further reasoned that summary judgment was proper because the insured did not present any evidence that would enable a reasonable jury to find that the damages it sought for repairs were reasonable and necessary. The insured’s extra-contractual claims were also dismissed because there was no evidence enabling a reasonable jury to find that the insurer did not have a reasonable basis for denying its claim. The only evidence introduced as to causation was from the insurer’s expert who opined that “the poor condition of the roof was not caused by hail or any storm event but by the age of the roofing materials and normal wear and tear.”