HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIMS

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Homeowners Insurance Claims

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Texas homeowners spend an average of $4,142 annually on homeowners insurance. Texas is the fifth most expensive state in which to carry homeowners insurance. With such high costs, Texans expect their insurance company to uphold their end of the insured-insurer relationship and do what they said they would do: protect you and your family from the worst.

Sometimes, homeowners insurance isn’t the safety net we expected. When disaster strikes, insurance companies can deny or underpay your claim leaving you to pay for your losses. When that happens, it’s vital that you fight back by contacting an insurance litigation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we know that catastrophic events can wreak havoc on your life and your finances; that’s why we dedicate ourselves to getting our clients the insurance payout they deserve. Follow along as we take a closer look at homeowners insurance claims and let you know what you can do if your claim is denied or underpaid.

Home Insurance Claim Overview

While every home is different, there are commonalities between the types of claims that are typically filed. The most common types of claims that are brought include, but are not limited to:

  • Wind and hail
  • Fire and lightning damage
  • Water damage and freezing
  • Non-theft property damage
  • Liability
  • Theft

When your home experiences damages or loss, the terms of your insurance policy are triggered. As long as your policy is valid and payments are up-to-date, you should receive fair compensation to replace the items that have been damaged or lost.

If your property is insured for its actual cash value, your claim will be paid out based on the property’s depreciated value. Often, the insurance company will pay out the actual cash value of the item and then make a second payment once you have proven the cost of replacement.

Your Rights

Every insurance company has a Bill of Rights that outlines a policyholder’s rights. By law, they are required to provide you with access. Some of the most important provisions are as follows:

  • Protection from discrimination
  • Right to sue
  • To receive fair and honest treatment
  • Right of refusal to provide information unrelated to your claim
  • Right to reject any settlement amount
  • The right to receive a written explanation as to why a claim was denied
  • Other rights
It’s important to note that, while the Bill of Rights exists to protect you, it will only do so insofar as you have upheld your responsibilities as a policyholder. To see what responsibilities you have and what actions could violate your responsibilities, check your insurance policy.

Bad Faith in Texas Claims

Texas insurance companies owe policyholders the duty of good faith and fair dealing. When claims are denied or underpaid, in some cases doing so violates the insurer’s implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. When that happens, the policyholder can bring a lawsuit against their insurance company in civil court to recover the compensation that they were denied. To protect policyholders, the Texas legislature has codified an insurer’s duty of good faith and fair dealing. Under the good faith and fair dealing statute, bad faith can be established by one or more of the following circumstances:
  • Misrepresentation
  • Failure to make good faith attempts in providing a prompt, fair and equitable settlement
  • Failure to conduct a thorough investigation before denying a claim
  • Lack of a reasonable explanation for denial of the claim
  • Failure to either accept or reject a claim within a reasonable time
  • Refusing or unreasonably delaying a settlement on the grounds that other coverage may be available or that a third-party may be responsible for the damage
  • Attempting to enforce a partial or full release of a claim when only a partial payment has been made, unless it is a compromise settlement
  • Insisting that a claimant provide their federal tax returns outside of an order by the court or a claim involving lost income or fire loss

Establishing bad faith requires a special understanding of insurance law. At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we specialize in bad faith insurance claims and can help you recover under Texas law.

Damages

Once bad faith has been suspected, your onus is on your insurance company to disprove the allegations. If they fail to satisfactorily fight the bad faith claim, you may be awarded the following damages:

  • Three times the amount of the original claim
  • Attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Additional damages

The total amount of compensation you receive will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. To maximize your payout, work with an experienced insurance litigation lawyer like the legal team at the Law Offices of Colby Lewis.

We hold your insurance company to its word

When you suffer loss of personal property or damage to your home, it can feel like you are all alone. This is especially true when your insurance company turns their back on you. With no relief in sight, it can be overwhelming. You need an experienced guide through this time who can advise you and direct your actions towards the best possible outcome. 

At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we understand that damage or loss to your home can at best be a massive inconvenience and at worst, completely upend your life. When bad things happen to your property, you need a dedicated insurance litigation lawyer by your side to ensure that the insurance company does what it promised to do when you took out the policy. We fight for your rights to good faith and fair dealing and help you recover compensation when those rights aren’t upheld. For more information on insurance litigation or to get started on your civil claim, contact the experienced insurance litigation lawyers at the Law Offices of Colby Lewis today.