Has Your Property Sustained Storm Damage?
Damage from hail, hurricanes, and tornadoes is an ongoing concern for property owners in Texas. Most property insurance claims are approved quickly, but if your insurance company rejects your storm damage claim, you will need to contact a Texas storm damage attorney.
Before a storm does damage, be certain that you understand your homeowners policy. In Texas, a homeowners policy may or may not cover wind, hail, and other storm-related damages, but you should understand the details of your coverage, deductibles, and any exclusions that may apply.
If your homeowners insurance policy does not cover damage from high winds or hailstorms – and many homeowners policies in the State of Texas do not – you should seek to obtain that coverage as quickly as possible and before a severe weather event damages your home.
What is the Property Damage Claim Process?
If you do not have any experience filing a property damage insurance claim in this state, it’s not usually difficult. In most cases, these are the four steps in settling a property damage insurance claim in Texas:
- You file the property damage claim.
- An adjuster looks at the property damage and asks you some questions.
- You select a contractor to do the repair work.
- You get paid by your insurance company.
Step #1: You File Your Property Damage Claim
Before you file your damage claim, take photographs and videos that clearly show the property damage. You should make minor, temporary repairs – boarding up windows, for example – to keep the damage from getting worse. Keep the receipts for these expenses, and make and store copies.
Then, file your property damage claim with your homeowners insurance company as quickly as possible. You may either call your insurance company on the phone, file your property damage claim online, or file your claim using your insurance company’s mobile app, if it has one.
Upon receiving your property damage claim, your homeowners insurance company then has fifteen days to confirm to you that it has received the claim and to begin its investigation of the claim.
Step #2: An Adjuster Inspects the Damage
Typically, upon receiving your damage claim, your homeowners insurance company will send a claims adjuster to visit your home to inspect the storm damage and estimate the repair costs. Be sure that you get the claims adjuster’s name, telephone number, and email address.
The claims adjuster may ask you to provide more information, or the insurance company may call you after the claims adjuster’s visit to request more information.
After the claims adjuster has visited your property, and after you have provided the insurance company with all of the information it has requested, the company then has fifteen days to approve or reject your property damage claim.
In some cases, that fifteen-day period may be extended to forty-five days if the insurance company needs additional time to investigate your claim. If the company decides to deny your claim, it must explain to you why your claim is being rejected.
Step #3: You Choose a Contractor for the Repairs
You will need to select a licensed contractor to do your repairs. Ask your friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Obtain several repair estimates from licensed contractors, and compare them before you make a final selection.
Be wary of fly-by-night contractors. We have a hailstorm season video on our YouTube channel explaining what to look out for when it comes to contractors here:
[Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ns36SpccNI]
Step #4: Your Insurance Company Pays You
Under Texas law, your homeowners insurance company must pay you within five business days after it agrees to pay your property damage claim.
However, if you are still paying for your home, the company will typically send this payment to your mortgage company, which must contact you within ten days of receiving the payment. You will then speak to your mortgage company about releasing the funds to pay for the repairs.
How Can You Speed Up the Payment Process?
You can’t change the deadlines that insurance companies work with, but you can take steps to expedite the payment process. As your insurance company has fifteen days to investigate after it receives information from you, sending that information promptly will begin the process sooner.
If your home sustains severe weather damage, immediately gather for the insurance company as much information as you can. Have your property damage photos and videos ready and your insurance paperwork completed as quickly – and as accurately – as possible.
Will You Need to Contact a Storm Damage Lawyer?
Contact our Texas storm damage lawyers immediately if:
❌ Your property damage claim is denied or delayed by your homeowners insurance company
❌ Your insurance company offers you a “lowball” settlement amount,
❌ You suspect that the company is not being straightforward with you
“Insurance bad faith” is an insurance company’s effort to avoid its obligations. This can happen when they refuse to pay a legitimate claim or fail to investigate and process a claim within a reasonable amount of time.
Homeowners insurance companies operate in bad faith when they:
- misrepresent an insurance policy’s language to avoid making a payout
- do not disclose policy exclusions and limitations before selling a policy
- make unreasonable demands on a policyholder to prove a covered loss
- simply ignore a claim and take no action at all
However, simple mistakes by an insurance company do not constitute bad faith. But if the company’s actions cannot be explained as mere mistakes, you may be dealing with insurance bad faith, and you’ll need – immediately – the advice and services of our Texas storm damage lawyers.
How Should You Choose a Storm Damage Lawyer?
If you’re having difficulty getting your homeowners insurance company to cooperate with you after a severe weather event has damaged your home, a Texas storm damage attorney at Flores & Pelaez-Prada can help. We have offices located in San Antonio and McAllen.
Flores & Pelaez-Prada offers personalized legal advice to homeowners throughout the State of Texas regarding their property damage claims. When you schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys, you’ll learn how the law applies to your own situation, and you will also learn more about your legal rights and options as a policyholder.
We Focus on Helping Homeowners
If necessary, Flores & Pelaez-Prada will take your homeowners insurance company to court to obtain the payout you need for property damage repairs, and the court may even order your insurance company to pay your attorney’s fee.
Flores & Pelaez-Prada focuses specifically on helping Texas homeowners. If your home has suffered severe weather damage and your insurance company will not cooperate – or if this should happen to you in the future – promptly call the law offices of Flores & Pelaez-Prada at 855-786-7674 (or 855-STORMS-4), and let us help.
Disclaimer: The blog posts shared on stormlex.com are intended for general informational purposes and may not apply to your specific situation. For personalized legal advice concerning your policy or claim, contact our office directly at (855)786-7674.