The Chanin Building, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, New York 10168

Blog Post

Insurance Company’s Lowball Strategy Backfires

Insurance Company’s Lowball Strategy Backfires by Evan Schwartz

If a case against an insurance company has merit, the question isn’t whether the company will pay, but rather when? And how much?

Grand Reserve of Columbus LLC, v. Property Owners Insurance Company, a recent case in Georgia, exemplifies this: an apartment complex successfully recovered over three times the insurance company’s initial value of the claim.

In 2013, the roof of the plaintiff’s apartment complex was damaged by a hailstorm. Initially, the insurance company lowballed the value of the claim and determined that the complex was entitled to approximately $190,000. The complex had an adjuster who valued the damages at $1.3 million.

In response to that valuation, the insurance company offered an additional $25,000, which the apartment complex did not accept — filing a lawsuit instead. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded the apartment complex $550,000. The insurance company challenged the verdict and appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal (which governs cases out of Georgia).

The circuit court sustained the jury’s verdict. The court told the insurance company they could not challenge: 

•the jury’s findings;

•the quality of the apartment complex’s expert, because the individual had sufficient qualifications; nor

•the evidence that was submitted (which was sufficient to show that an additional $550,000 worth of damage existed).

At the conclusion of this process, the apartment complex received over $700,000 for the damages; originally, the insurance company wanted to pay less than ⅓ of that amount.

The important point here is that the apartment complex not only maintained their position, but they fought for it! In this atypical instance, the case ended up in trial, and then on appeal. Usually, insurance companies will fight up to the point of trial — and then settle.

Unfortunately, it is often necessary to file a lawsuit or be in the very early stages of a lawsuit in order to get the insurance company to settle. Until the plaintiff pushes the envelope, the insurance company will dig in its heels. With an effective lawyer, you can respond in a way that ensures you are paid what you are due.

Please contact us with any questions or comments.



Evan S. Schwartz
Founder of Schwartz Law

what our clients say about us


  • We as a society are not prepared to deal with catastrophic illness, and although I was smart enough to have taken out a Long-term Disability policy in my thirties, the

    Long Term Disability Client – California
  • Desperate and devastated with everything to lose, I put my life in the hands of Evan and Michail on faith. In my heart I always believed they would deliver, and

    Lawyer – Oklahoma
  • During the most trying part of my life, Schwartz Law’s attorneys were fighting for my life. I was physically just barely up on my own two feet, with a diagnosis

    Long Term Care Client – New York
  • A company made an error in how they sold me my long-term disability insurance policy and they offered me a lump sum settlement. I did not fully understand the offer

    Physician–New York
  • My claim was denied by my insurance company. My medical condition wasn’t understood by my physicians. My first attorney gave me terrible advice. My family faced financial ruin without the

    Physician – New York

Latest News

Send us a message

Manhattan Offices

The Chanin Building, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, New York 10168

Toll Free: (800) 745-1755
Phone: (212) 608-5445

Garden City Office

666 Old Country Road, Ninth Floor, Garden City, New York 11530

Toll Free: (800) 745-1755
Phone: (516) 745-1122
Fax: (516) 745-0844