Commercial Flood Damage Claims
Texas is one of the most flood-prone states in the U.S., according to the Weather Channel. When this natural disaster strikes, it can damage everything in its path, including the business you have worked so hard to maintain. With the proper insurance, your business can be repaired, but you will first have to deal with an insurance company.
The insurance business is designed to work in a policyholder’s best interest. Unfortunately, though, this is not always the case. Some adjusters may take advantage of your situation and offer you a lowball settlement because they know you desperately need it. Rest assured this will not happen if you have an insurance attorney advise you through the claims process.
Insurance Attorney in Texas
Do you believe your insurance company is taking advantage of you? Is your adjuster unwilling to negotiate a greater settlement? The insurance lawyers at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC are seasoned litigators who will ensure you are not taken advantage of. Rather than dealing with insurance adjusters on your own, let Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster carry the burden for you.
You can call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a consultation. We have offices in The Woodlands and Plano but also assist business owners throughout Texas in areas such as Houston, Dallas and Galveston.
- Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Flooding?
- What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
- Bad Faith Insurance Practices
- Additional Resources
Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Flooding?
You invest time, money, blood and sweat into your business. Because your business is such a significant investment, it’s vital you have all the necessary insurance coverage to ensure your business is protected from every risk and peril, including flood damage.
Some business owners are surprised to discover their commercial insurance policy will not cover flood damage; even if you have a special form policy. The only way your business can be protected from flood damage is if you purchase additional coverage.
Flood insurance is mostly provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) via FEMA, but it can also be purchased through private insurers. Flood coverage covers all types of floods, such as:
- Water from swollen lakes, creeks and rivers
- Storm surge
- The pooling of water from heavy rain
Keep in mind; FEMA requires a 30-day waiting period for new commercial flood insurance policies. It’s vital you purchase commercial coverage before an expected flooding event is heading your way. You may not be protected if you wait too long.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Commercial flood insurance covers damage to the structure and personal property. Both contents and the building can typically be covered for up to $500,000. Damages generally repaired by commercial flood insurance include:
- Installed features such as built-in cabinets and paneling
- Electrical systems
- Water heaters
- Plumbing systems
- Air conditioners
- Appliances and personal property
- Foundation and support structures like staircases
- Detached garages
In addition to knowing what your commercial policy covers, it’s also necessary to understand what is not covered. Flood policies often have a massive number of exclusions. Some of the damage not protected by flood insurance include the following:
- The flood damage was attributed to sinkholes or landslides
- Damage to a basement and property within
- Flood damage to vehicles
- Lost income from temporarily closing or relocating because of flood damage
- Damage to certain detached structures such as fences and walkways
Bad Faith Insurance Practices
You are granted the right as a policyholder to be treated with good faith. This means your insurance company is required to be honest when handling your claim. If not, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit.
Other situations that may warrant civil litigation include:
- Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a thorough investigation
- Failing to accept or reject a claim within a reasonable time
- Refusing to pay a claim because of race, religion, gender or another characteristic
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for rejecting a claim
Contact an insurance lawyer if you believe your insurance provider has acted in bad faith. If you prevail in court, you may be awarded up to three times the amount of your claim, attorney fees and any other relief the court deems necessary.
The National Flood Insurance Program – Visit the official website for FEMA to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program. By following the link, you can find answers to frequently asked flood questions, gain access to flood maps and flood statistics.
Unfair Settlement Practices | Texas Insurance Code – Follow the link provided to read the chapter of the Insurance Code governing bad faith. Scroll to section 541.060 to find a list of bad faith acts. You can also gain access to information about hearing procedures and what should be included in a settlement offer. The code can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Texas Insurance Lawyer
Filing a commercial flood claim under the guidance of an insurance attorney greatly increases your chances of a greater settlement offer. Not only this, but an attorney can advise you on how to negotiate with adjusters and represent you in court if necessary. Ms. LeMaster and Ms. Ahmed have handled commercial flood claims of all sizes. They will ensure your insurance company abides by the law and that you receive the best possible settlement.
Call us today at (832) 356-7983 to schedule a consultation. We represent business owners in Montgomery County, Collin County, Harris County, Dallas County and Galveston County.