Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims
The Houston area and south and central Texas was recently devastated by one of the worst hurricanes in American history. Hurricane Harvey has impacted millions of people in the Houston area, along the Texas Coast, and in The Golden Triangle (Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange).
If you are trying to reassemble your life after this devastating hurricane, you want a lawyer who understands your rights and who will be an advocate for you. Houston insurance claims attorneys Brad T. Wyly and Kelly Cook, the founders of Wyly & Cook, PLLC , have been helping individuals and small business owners recover from storm damage for over a decade. We can help you understand your legal options in the aftermath of this catastrophic event.
WHAT IF MY INSURANCE COMPANY WON’T PAY MY CLAIM?
Most homeowners seek to protect themselves against the worst losses from hurricanes with insurance policies. Unfortunately, insurance companies have a vested interest in paying as little as possible and will make the task of recovering insurance benefits as difficult as possible. It is important to know everything that your policy covers so you aren’t taken advantage of after a disaster.
For those who are victims of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Department of Insurance has a resource page with helpful information for those whose homes were damaged in the storm. Here is a link to the page: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/takefive/home-damaged.html
One of the most common insurance issues after a hurricane is determining whether the damage was the result of rain and wind or flooding. This is because most home insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Flood protection must be purchased separately and not every homeowner carries this coverage.
Many insurance companies will automatically classify water damage as flood damage in an attempt to minimize their financial responsibility. A lawyer well-versed in hurricane damage claims can help you to determine the extent to which you are actually protected and will fight for the payments you deserve.
CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES
For many years Texas law was designed to protect consumers from insurance carriers’ unfair and deceptive practices. Recent changes to Texas law starting in 2011 with the Texas Windstorm Association (“TWIA”) Bill and the Blue Tarp Bill passed in 2017 have stripped Texas policyholders of valuable consumer protections. Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, we anticipate many Hurricane Harvey claims will be delayed and/or underpaid. Many people will have no choice but to hire an attorney to advise them and fight the insurance company on their behalf.
Please keep in mind, that although weakened, there are still laws on the books prohibiting insurance companies from engaging in bad faith and unfair claim settlement practices. These insurance company practices include:
- Misrepresenting coverage;
- Failing to properly investigate the claim;
- Failing to timely accept or reject the claim;
- Unfairly rejecting the claim in whole or in part; and
- Underestimating or underpaying the claim.
If you believe your insurer has wrongfully denied your residential, commercial insurance claim, business interruption claim or has treated you unfairly in anyway, you should contact an attorney immediately. You may have a bad faith insurance claim against your insurer that could entitle you to monetary damages.
Recovering from a hurricane is difficult enough. Do not make your life harder by accepting unfair treatment or insurance benefits that are less than you are entitled to under the law. You need legal representation that is both competent and compassionate. You deserve legal counsel that will fight for you. At Wyly & Cook, PLLC , that’s exactly what you’ll get. Call us at 713-236-8330 or fill out the contact form on this page for a free consultation.