A hailstorm is one of the leading natural disasters and causes devastating damage to homes, vehicles, and commercial property across the nation. For Texans, hailstorms are a destructive reality. In fact, 872 hailstorm events were recorded in Texas in 2019 alone. Texas residents reported a whopping 638,000 hail damage insurance claims from 2017 to 2019. These claims solidified our state’s long-held spot as the worst state in the nation for hailstorms. Considering the severe impact that even a minor hailstorm can have, Texans heavily rely on property insurance coverage; and, when insurance providers attempt to dodge responsibility for hail damage insurance claims, residents and business owners alike suffer deep losses.
Texas Hailstorm Law
In Texas, hailstorm damage claims must be filed within certain deadlines and statutes of limitation. Policyholders who do not timely file a claim or a lawsuit within the applicable time limits may lose their right to recover forever. While it may depend on the severity of the storm and the location of the natural disaster, the Texas statute of limitations for filing a hailstorm claim is usually two years from the date of the event. For example, when Hurricane Ike hit Houston and surrounding areas, an alternative statute of limitations was established to allow most claimants sufficient additional time to file.
Property insurance often comes with hailstorm provisions that cover a variety of damages, including but not limited to the cost to replace or repair:
- A roof
- Trees and other landscaping
- Other structures on the property including garages, tool sheds, guesthouses, etc.
- A car, boat, or other vehicle
- Other items on the property
Hail Damage Insurance Claims
Our firm has successfully handled hailstorm cases in Texas where insurance companies have delayed, denied, and/or underpaid the claims of policyholders. By law, bad faith practices by insurance companies are illegal; and, your carrier can be held financially accountable in court. When insurance companies deny policyholders’ rightful claims, they are acting in bad faith.
Bad Faith Insurance
A policyholder can file a bad faith insurance claim against their insurance provider. This claim keeps insurance providers accountable for the duty of good faith and fair dealing they owe to their policyholders. When a person enters into an insurance policy with an insurance company, the policy binds both parties to contractual obligations. The policyholder has a duty of care to the carrier to make scheduled payments and the insurance provider has a duty of good faith under which it must honor the policy and credible claims made against it. When policyholders are the only party performing agreed-upon contractual duties, the insurance provider has committed a breach of contract.
Some common examples of bad faith insurance practices include:
- Denying a claim without giving a reason is a common bad faith insurance practice. Insurance companies are required to give a reason for a claim denial. Often insurance companies give policyholders the runaround and either delay providing or never provide a reason for the claim denial, hoping policyholders will accept the loss and move on.
- Offering less than the claim is worth when compensating a policyholder for damages fails to honor the contract by undercutting the true value of the loss. Policyholders trust insurance providers will pay appropriate compensation so necessary repairs may be made. When insurance providers attempt to retain profits by underpaying claims, they take advantage of loyal policyholders.
- Failing to perform a quality and adequate investigation of a claim is as damaging as denying a claim without reason. Insurance providers may conduct botched investigations and purposely not consider evidence to avoid paying a claim entirely or as a means to justify underpaying a claim. This is not only illegal, but it is also a waste of crucial time needed to make repairs.
- Misrepresenting the law or language used in the policy is a common intimidation factor used on policyholders. By misconstruing the law or the policy’s contractual terms, insurance carriers can retain profits by dishonoring policies. By hiring an experienced insurance claim disputes attorney, insurance providers are held accountable to policyholders and must answer for their bad faith practices.
Houston Hailstorm Lawyers
Texans are no strangers to severe weather. Houston and nearby Gulf Coast residents routinely encounter hailstorms; and, for this reason policyholders place a great deal of trust in their carriers. Policyholders expect insurance providers will abide by the terms of their policy. Our attorneys work tirelessly to ensure hailstorm damage victims are appropriately compensated, by ensuring every carrier pays a fair claim value. If your property was damaged in a hailstorm, contact the Houston bad faith insurance attorneys of Dax F. Garza, P.C. today to discuss your case at no cost.