Property Damage Claims
Resolving property damage claims can be complex and frustrating. You have already been a victim of property damage, whether it be theft, flooding or other disaster. Now, the claims process has you feeling like a victim again.
Insurance companies have deep pockets, yet they are reluctant to give money to those who fill those pockets. They may take their time settling your claim, offer you an under-evaluated settlement or deny your claim entirely all to protect their bottom line. It’s advised you contact an insurance lawyer if you feel your insurance company has mistreated you.
Texas Insurance Attorney
Your insurance company should be held accountable for their actions. Whether you are having a difficult time negotiating with adjusters or your claim has been handled in bad faith, you can trust the attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster have more than 30 years of combined experience assisting home and business owners. They can help you file a claim, advise you on how to negotiate with adjusters and represent you in court if need be.
Take the first step in achieving what you are entitled to and contact LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. You can call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a consultation. We assist policyholders in Montgomery County, Collin County, Harris County, Dallas County and Galveston County.
- Types of Property Claims We Handle
- Claims Not Covered by Standard Policy
- Common Reasons a Property Claim is Denied
- Examples of Bad Faith Property Claims
- Statute of Limitation for Suing Your Insurance Company
- Additional Resources
Types of Property Claims We Handle
We turn to our insurance company to help cover the cost when our home or business is damaged. Most of the common risks and perils facing our property are covered by most standard insurance policies.
Common property damage claims include:
- Commercial flood
- Water damage
- Fallen trees
- Roof damage
- Smoke damage
- Lightning damage
Claims Not Covered by Standard Policy
Homeowners and commercial property insurance usually cover a variety of claims; however, every policy is different. Some standard policies may cover damage that another does not. So, it is a good idea to review your policy declaration to ensure you know what is covered.
Some risks and perils are not covered depending on where you live. Wind and hail damage, for instance, are not covered under a standard policy if your home or business is along the Gulf Coast or in Harris County along Galveston Bay.
Other claims that may not be covered by home and commercial property insurance include the following:
- Backed up sewage
- Construction damage
- Insect or rodent infestations
- Continuous water leaks
- Wear and tear
- Losses that occur when a house is vacant
Common Reasons a Property Claim is Denied
Having a damage claim denied is a frustrating situation. There are certain circumstances where your insurance company can rightly deny your damage claim. Some of the most common reasons for a denied claim include:
- Coverage not provided: Your insurance may deny your claim because your policy does not cover the damage suffered to your property. It cannot be stressed enough that you read your policy declaration to gain an understanding of risks and perils your policy will cover.
- Failure to follow certain conditions: Your claim could be denied if you failed to comply with certain requirements of your policy. Commercial property insurance, for example, may require a business to install security cameras as a stipulation of theft coverage.
- Non-disclosure: You are required to tell the truth when you purchase insurance. You must also notify your insurer of any changes of personal information. Your provider may assert that you did not disclose certain information surrounding your claim when you purchased insurance, which will result in your claim being denied.
- Fraud: Your claim will be denied if your provider suspects you committed insurance fraud. This is common in cases of arson and intentional water damage in an attempt to collect insurance money.
- Canceled policy: Your insurance company may cancel your policy for various reasons. Making too many claims and failing to make payments are the most common reasons a policy would be canceled.
Examples of Bad Faith Property Claims
Insurance companies owe you the duty of good faith. They are required to be truthful in their dealings and settle your claim as quickly as possible. While most insurance companies abide by the law, some will violate your rights in an attempt to make a profit.
You have the right to sue an insurance company that acts in bad faith. Unfair settlement practices that may warrant litigation include:
- Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a proper investigation
- Misrepresenting facts or policy provisions relating to the coverage issues
- Failing to pay a prompt and fair settlement
- Failing to offer a reasonable explanation for denying a claim
- Failing to confirm or deny a claim within a reasonable time
- Refusing to pay or unreasonably delaying a settlement on the grounds other coverage may be available or a third-party was liable for the damage
- Requiring a claimant to submit their federal tax returns as a condition of settling a claim, unless:
- Ordered by the court;
- The claim involves fire loss; or
- The claim involves lost profits or income
Your insurance company needs to be held accountable for their actions. Contact an insurance company if you believe they have handled your claim in bad faith. You may be eligible for up to three times the amount of the claim, attorney fees, court costs and any other damage the court deems necessary.
Statute of Limitations for Suing Your Insurance Company
Texas only grants you a limited amount of time to bring action against your insurance company. Per section 541.161 of the Insurance Code, you must file suit against your insurance company under Chapter 541 within two years of either of the following:
- From the date the bad faith practice took place; or
- From the date you discovered the bad faith act occurred
The court may allow you to extend the statute of limitation by 180 days, but only in limited circumstance. You will have to prove your failure to bring action was because your provider engaged in conduct solely because they wanted to prevent you from bringing legal action.
Unfair Settlement Practices | Texas Insurance Code – Follow the link to learn more about bad faith acts. You can find more information on misrepresentation of policy and hearing procedures. The statute can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Homeowners Insurance | Texas Department of Insurance – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Insurance to find basic information about homeowners’ insurance. You can find out what a standard policy does and does not cover, the type of coverage offered with a home policy and other coverage you might need.
Texas Insurance Lawyer
Let LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC carry the burden of dealing with your insurance company. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster have experience litigating on behalf of insurance companies. They are fully aware of the tactics they use to limit their liability, and they will ensure you are not taken advantage of.
Call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a consultation. We are based in The Woodlands and Plano, but regularly assist clients in areas such as Houston, Dallas and Galveston.