Many consumers are unaware state departments and statutory law regulate the insurance industry. Insurance companies have a lot of power, so legislatures implemented certain laws and regulation to keep their power in check. These guidelines are put in place for one reason; to protect the consumer.
Many of the laws and rules regulating insurance companies deal with how the company treats policyholders. You may be able to sue your insurance company if they violate your rights or if they engage in bad faith practices. Contact legal representation if you have found yourself in this situation.
Insurance Attorney in Texas
Your insurance company needs to be held accountable for their actions. Whether they are taking too long to settle your claim, or your claim has been unjustly denied, you can rely on the insurance attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster are well aware of the tactics used by insurance companies to limit their liability. They will aggressively advocate for you to secure the best possible settlement for you.
Call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a case evaluation. We assist policyholders in Montgomery County, Collin County, Dallas County, Harris County and Galveston County.
- Your Rights as a Policyholder
- Bad Faith Insurance
- Statute of Limitation for Suing an Insurance Company
- Additional Resources
Your Rights as a Policyholder
Insurance companies have a lot of power. They have more insurance knowledge than the average consumer and they have vast decision-making authority. Insurance providers are required to abide by a set of rights to ensure the insured are protected. These rights were developed by Texas legislatures and implemented by the Texas Department of Insurance. Policyholders have nearly 50 rights, all of which must be included in a policy.
Some of your most valuable rights as a policyholder include the following:
- The right to independent inspection by a licensed inspector
- The right to fair and honest treatment
- The right to reject a settlement or unfit valuation
- The right to have a claim promptly processed and paid
- The right to know if your insurance company plans to pay a liability claim against your policy
- The right to refuse to provide information that does not relate to your claim
- The right not to be discriminated against
- The right to sue your insurance company
Violating your policyholder rights may be grounds for litigation. Contact an insurance attorney if you believe your rights have been violated. You may be entitled to up to three times the amount of your claim, attorneys fees and any additional funds deemed appropriate by the court.
Bad Faith Insurance
In addition to policyholder rights, Texas legislatures also implemented various laws to protect consumers from bad faith insurance acts. Like policyholder rights, and insurance provider who acts in bad faith can be sued in civil court.
Bad faith acts that may warrant litigation include:
- Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation
- Misrepresenting policy provisions relating to the claim at issue
- Refusing to pay or unreasonably denying a claim on the bases other coverage may be available or a third-party is responsible for the damage
- Failing to pay a prompt and fair settlement
- Requiring a claimant to submit a copy of their federal tax returns as a condition of settling a claim, unless:
- Ordered by the court;
- The claim involves lost profits or income; or
- The claim involves fire loss
Statute of Limitations for Suing an Insurance Company
A statute of limitation is a limited period one has to bring legal action. According to section 541.162 of the Texas Insurance Code, you have two years from the following dates to sue your insurance company for unfair or deceptive acts or practices:
- The date the bad faith practice took place
- The date you discovered the bad faith act
A judge may allow you to file a claim under Chapter 541 once the statute of limitations has passed, but only in limited circumstance. The statute of limitations for suing your insurance company may be extended by 180 days if you can prove your failure to bring action was because your insurance company or adjuster was engaging in activities solely to prevent you from bringing legal action.
Consumer Bill of Rights | Texas Department of Insurance – Follow the link provided to read the Consumer Bill of Rights. You can gain access to information about your rights as when buying insurance, your rights to cancel and how to enforce your rights. The document can be read on the official website of the Texas Department of Insurance.
Unfair Settlement Practices | Texas Insurance Code – Visit the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read the chapter of the Insurance Code governing bad faith practices. You can find a complete list of bad faith acts in section 541.060 and learn about hearing procedures and the statute of limitations.
Texas Insurance Lawyer
You have done right by your insurance company, and in return, they have mistreated you. The attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC are trusted insurance litigators who know how to stand up to insurance companies. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster will work tirelessly to hold your insurer accountable for their actions and to get you the best possible settlement.
Whether you are an individual or business, you can trust LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a time to speak with us. We are based in The Woodlands and Plano, but regularly help policyholders all over Texas, including areas such as Houston, Dallas and Galveston.