Galveston County Insurance Lawyer
As a responsible individual or business, you purchased an insurance policy with the idea that if an unforeseen event happens you will be covered financially. However, when you file your claim you’re met with delays, unnecessary requests for irrelevant documentation, long drawn-out phone calls with adjusters and essentially stopped every step of the way from receiving the coverage you’re entitled to. In some cases, your insurer will outright deny your claim even though it’s well within your insurance policy guidelines.
If you are experiencing a similar situation, it could be a sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith or in breach of your contract. Thankfully, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against your insurer for engaging in deceptive acts or practices. You could be entitled to up to three times the amount of your claim, attorney’s fees and other penalties under the Texas Insurance Code. For these reasons, we highly recommend you seek legal counsel if you suspect your insurance company is engaging in dishonest conduct.
Insurance Lawyer in Galveston County, Texas
If you are having difficulty obtaining the coverage you’re entitled to from your insurance company, then we urge you to get in contact with the dedicated attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC. We are passionate about helping policyholders receive the coverage they deserve and have represented various types of claims disputes. With our years of insurance law experience, the attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC have the right resources, skills and knowledge to advocate for your case.
Call us now at (888) 306-2119 to schedule your first consultation completely free. LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Galveston County area including Galveston, Kemah, Dickinson, Jamaica Beach, La Marque, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, and San Leon.
Information Center for Galveston County:
- Texas Insurance Claim Laws
- What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
- What is the Statute of Limitations for Suing an Insurance Company?
- Insurance Resources for Galveston County, Texas
Texas Insurance Claim Laws and Regulations
Insurance companies may be in the private sector, but insurers are still required to follow the regulations set forth by the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Insurance Code. Insurers must follow claim handling guidelines set forth in the Texas Insurance Code and failure to uphold these duties may result in a lawsuit.
An insurer should evaluate all claims in a fair and ethical manner. To ensure this happens, the Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 and 542 requires insurance companies to fulfill certain obligations when processing a claim. These include, but are not limited to:
- Investigate the filed claim thoroughly and promptly as set forth by statute;
- Examine and fairly consider the evidence associated with the claim;
- Conduct an honest evaluation of what the claim is about such as the policyholder’s injuries or damaged property;
- Provide an honest interpretation of the insurance policy to you as the policyholder;
- Correspond with the policyholder in a timely manner;
- Evaluate the possibility of the policyholder suing and winning if applicable;
- Give an honest attempt to resolve the claim in a reasonable amount of time;
- Deny or approve the claim in a timely manner;
- Provide a thorough explanation of the denial in writing if applicable;
- Enter in good faith negotiations to discuss a fair insurance settlement; and
- Ensure payment is sent to the policyholder in a timely fashion after the acceptance of the claim
Insurance companies who are in breach of contract or violated the Texas Insurance Code may be held liable in a court of law. So, if you’re having difficulty getting your insurance company to pay your covered claim, then consult an experienced insurance attorney as soon as possible. A skilled insurance lawyer can closely assess your claim and policy to determine if you’re entitled to coverage.
What is a Bad Faith insurance Claim?
Insurers who engage in deceptive acts or practices to avoid full liability or deny a valid claim are acting in bad faith. Insurance companies who engage in dishonest conduct may be held liable to pay damages to any policyholder who suffered due to their bad faith practices. Some examples of bad faith practices insurers use to delay, dispute or deny a claim include, but are not limited to:
- Misrepresenting the Texas Insurance Code laws or policy provisions to avoid liability;
- Accusing the policyholder of arson, fraud or misbehavior without justification;
- Withholding important information about your claim from you;
- Failing to maintain effective contact with the policyholder;
- Offering low settlement offers while refusing to negotiate;
- Failing to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the claim in a timely fashion;
- Delaying payment after the policyholder’s claim was accepted; or
- Altering or cancelling your policy after you’ve filed the claim
What is the Statute of Limitations for Suing an Insurance Company?
It’s important to remember that as a policyholder there is a time limit you must abide by if you want to file a claim against your insurer. This is known as a statute of limitations and once it runs out the court will prohibit you from filing that specific claim. According to Section 541.162 of the Texas Insurance Code, you will have up to two years to file a formal claim against your insurance company for unfair and deceptive acts or practices. contract. The statute of limitations for a pure breach of contract claim is four years from the date of the breach; however, a prudent policyholder always pursues a claim within the two-year statute of limitation to preserve all of its claims, including contract and tort. Tort and contract claims, combined, are only valid if they are filed upon within two years of one of the following dates:
- The date the bad faith practice took place; or
- The date you discovered or, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered that bad faith conduct had taken place
You may be able to file a claim under Chapter 541 after the statute of limitations in limited circumstances. The statute of limitations can be extended by 180 days if you prove your failure to file a lawsuit was because your insurance company or agent was engaging in actions that would solely prevent you from pursuing legal action.
It is always best to consult an insurance lawyer to ensure that all of your potential claims are preserved in a timely way.
Insurance Resources in Galveston County, Texas
Galveston County District Courts – All types of court cases are handled at the Galveston County District Courts, which includes civil suits where at least $200 is being claimed or disputed in damages. Access the site to learn their docket schedules, who they have appointed as a judge as well as the local rules for the civil court.
Galveston County Clerk – All records and documents are filed and stored by the Galveston County Clerk’s office. Access the site to file an important court document, pay a court related payment or to request certain information. If you file a suit against your insurance company, you will likely have to visit or request documentation from the clerk at some point.
Texas Department of Insurance – The Department of Insurance regulates all insurance companies in the state of Texas under the law established in the Insurance Code. In addition, they oversee the administration of worker’s compensation systems as provided by the Texas Labor Code.
Texas Insurance Code – Visit the official website for the Texas Insurance Code to learn more about their state laws for insurance disputes. Access the site to what is a bad faith action under Texas law, the statute of limitation to file a claim against your insurer and more.
Galveston County Hazard Mitigation Plan – Texas is no stranger to natural disasters such as fires, thunderstorms, hurricanes, flooding and in some cases earthquakes. The Galveston County government has devised a hazard mitigation plan to guide citizens in the event of a county-wide emergency.
Galveston County Flood Risks and Planning – Visit the official website for Galveston County to learn more about their flood zones. Use their interactive mapping tool to discover if you are in a high-risk flood area and what to do in case of an evacuation.
Galveston County Insurance Lawyers in Texas
Are you having a difficult time resolving your claim with your insurance company? Have you been met with unreasonable delays and coverage disputes for a claim that’s well within your policy’s terms and conditions? If so, then we urge you to contact LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC. The attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC have 30 combined years of experience in insurance law we can utilize for your case. Let us guide you through this process and advocate for you and your interests every step of the way.
You can call us at (888) 306-2119 to set up your first consultation. LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Galveston and Galveston County area and surrounding counties including Collin County, Dallas County, Harris County, or Montgomery County.