If Your Insurance Company Did This, Then Your Claim May Have Been Handled in Bad FaithFebruary 14, 2017
Under Texas law, insurance companies are required to process claims in good faith and fair dealing. That means that every time an insurance company receives a valid claim it promptly investigates it, and then pays out the full amount for repairs. Bad faith in insurance claim handling is when insurance companies do the complete opposite. When an insurance company manufactures excuses, delays the claims process, denies a valid claim for an invalid reason or underpays a claim for no valid reason it is called Bad Faith. Bad faith is against the law in Texas.
Unfortunately, bad faith happens every day. Insurance companies know most policyholders are unaware that these tactics are considered bad faith and the companies exploit that to their fullest advantage. Here are some of the common bad faith tactics employed by insurance companies:
- The insurance company tells you that you intentionally caused the damage to your roof or the damage to your roof was caused by normal wear and tear. Most homeowners’ insurance policies have exclusions for normal wear and tear, however, damage from a hail storm is not “normal wear and tear.”
- The insurance company tells you that the property damage you have sustained does not meet your deductible or is so insignificant it only requires minor repairs, if any at all. Then, the insurance company will proceed to make you a lowball offer leaving you to cover the rest of the repair. This is a classic underpayment scheme in which the insurance company manufacturers an excuse to offer substantially less than what the claim is worth.
- The insurance company tells you that you missed the deadline to file your claim and report the damage, so they deny your claim.
- The insurance company delays payment on your claim or denies it without providing you a clear reasoning. Under Texas law, denials must be clear and unambiguous and based on language in the policy.
- The insurance company “investigates” your claim for a substantial period of time without communicating anything to you. Texas law imposes strict deadlines on insurance companies for handling claims.
- The insurance company tells you that when the hail storm hit your insurance policy was not in effect, so they tell you that they are not paying your claim.
- The insurance company tells you that the damage you sustained on your roof was already there before the storm and/or was not caused by hail, so they tell you that they are not paying your claim.
- The insurance company fails to properly investigate the damage to your home and bases their settlement offer on the inadequate investigation. An insurance company must properly investigate and assess damage for a claim.
- The insurance company quickly offers a lowball settlement in order to force financially burdened policyholders into settling for significantly less than their policy should cover.
If you feel that your insurance company has acted in bad faith, we strongly urge you to contact an experienced insurance attorney. Having a knowledgeable insurance attorney by your side can make the difference between getting full payment of your claim’s worth or getting your claim denied, delayed or underpaid.
The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have vast experience dealing with insurance companies. In fact, some of their attorneys worked as insurance companies defense lawyers before joining the firm. Now they help property owners fight for fair and just treatment. Our consultations are free. If we cannot add value to your claim, we will not take your case. We are only paid if we win your case by converting your denied or underpaid claim into a fully paid claim. Contact us today for a free claim evaluation.