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11 More Puna Homeowners Sue Lloyd’s of London

January 21, 2019, 12:28 PM HST (Updated January 22, 2019, 9:01 AM)
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Leilani Estates homeowner and lifelong Hawai‘i resident Howard Konanui Sr. is one of 11 Lloyd’s of London policyholders who joined dozens of others in lawsuits against Lloyd’s and its affiliates.

According to a Jan. 21, 2019, press release from the law office of Jeffrey E. Foster, in this latest Lloyd’s lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ homes have experienced delays, denials and unprecedented dismissiveness in connection with claims filed on homes that have sustained catastrophic damage following the Kīlauea eruption.

Konanui owned two homes located right next to each other in Leilani Estates. Both homes sustained significant damage. One home was insured by the Hawai‘i Property Insurance Association, commonly known as HPIA. The other home was insured by Lloyd’s of London and Worldwide Facilities, a Lloyd’s of London affiliate.

Shortly after making his claim with HPIA, the state insurance carrier determined that the home was a total loss. Based on that determination, HPIA tendered hundreds of thousands of dollars in policy limits to Konanui.

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According to the press release, Konanui’s experience with Lloyd’s of London was much different. Even though his two homes were located next to each other and sustained nearly identical damage, Lloyd’s of London offered Konanui “a mere $8,880.89” as full settlement of his claims, the press release said. “In an effort to save hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to Konanui, Lloyd’s refused to declare this second home a total loss,” the release stated.

In addition to paying a $2,034.24 premium to Lloyds, Attorney Foster’s office said Konanui was “forced to spend months of his own time corresponding with Lloyd’s claims adjuster John Mullen & Co.”

Attorney Foster’s office said Konanui was “forced to hire his own contractors” to inspect and draft damage assessments that were provided to John Mullen & Co. Despite his best efforts, Lloyd’s “refused to declare the home a total loss and refused to revise its offer.”

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As a result, “Konanui had no choice other than to turn to Big Island Attorney Foster and join the dozens of other Puna homeowners in filing a lawsuit against Lloyd’s of London,” the release said.

“Not only have these homeowners been offered pennies on the dollar for their claims, but they have been forced to wait months just to receive the bad news and spend countless hours emailing claims adjusters to explain the extensive damage sustained by their homes,” the law office release said.

“Mr. Konanui’s situation offers a unique insight into Lloyd’s claims handling practices,” Foster said. “He had two homes located right next to each other with different insurance carriers. The fact that HPIA paid Mr. Konanui policy limits of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a prompt and efficient manner stands in stark contrast to the months-long struggle Mr. Konanui was forced to endure, only to receive news that he would be offered a mere $8,000 by Lloyd’s of London. It is this type of treatment that has left those insured by Lloyd’s of London with no option other than to look to the courts for help.”

Konanui, along with 10 other Lloyd’s policyholders, are the latest group of Puna homeowners to file a lawsuit against Lloyd’s of London and its affiliates for breach of contract, bad faith, conspiracy and deceptive practices.

The new 138-page complaint was filed by Attorney Foster, who represents over 50 clients in claims against Lloyd’s of London and their affiliates.

Homeowners seeking further information can reach Foster Law Offices online or calling (808) 348-7800.

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