Homeowners Insurance Tactics: The Normal Wear and Tear ArgumentOctober 21, 2016
Insurance companies receive hard-earned money so that when things go wrong, people will feel a sense of relief to know that they will be made right. Unfortunately, it is never this easy and the process of having insurance makes home repairs is not a simple one. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They approve policies based on their belief that it is more likely that they will get to keep their clients’ money, then have to pay out cash when there is an unforeseen loss or damage.
Even when events do occur that require the involvement of the insurance company, they are immediately searching for ways to reduce the amount of your money they must pay. One way that insurance companies attempt to avoid paying out more than they have to is the “wear and tear” argument. Insurance companies claim that the property has deteriorated over time from natural and inevitable events. They then blame this gradual deterioration as the reason for the damage, claiming that if not for the wear and tear, the damage never would have occurred.
For example, the Amaro Law Firm handled a claim where the roof on our client’s business was damaged during a hailstorm. The insurance company denied the claim, stating that the roof had unsealed openings from wear and tear, causing water to enter the building and cause damage and that the damage was not caused by the storm. After hiring the Amaro Law Firm a contractor was brought in and determined that the only way for water to enter was the collapse of the roof from the hailstorm. The insurance company overturned the claim and paid the full amount and all of the legal fees.
To escape liability, insurance companies often search for deficiencies such as the unsealed openings, which they use to escape liability. Rather than providing the sense of security clients believe they were getting, they are told that because of the lack of maintenance, or naturally occurring events, the insurance company is not liable, hoping that the client will either give up or settle for a much lesser amount.
This scam constitutes bad faith insurance practice in Texas. The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have vast experience dealing with insurance companies acting in bad faith. Prior to working with the Amaro Law Firm some of the attorneys worked as defense lawyers for the insurance companies. These lawyers now understand both sides of the dispute and tactics used by the insurance companies and put this to use in helping property owners fight for fair and just treatment. Consultations are free, and if value cannot be added to your claim, we will not take your case. When insurance companies are caught acting in bad faith, they are required to pay the full amount and reasonable attorney’s fees, which means we only get paid when we do our job.