It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast, but for many, Harvey is still top of mind. Thousands of Texans have filed insurance claims with their insurance companies only to face unnecessary delays and eventually wrongful denials. This has drastically slowed down recovery for many, and has prevented property owners from making needed repairs.
When you purchase personal insurance or insurance for your business, you expect the carrier to be there for you when an event occurs and you need coverage. Unfortunately, since insurance companies are run as a business themselves, their financial bottom line is affected each time they have to pay out on the claims of their insured. Therefore, insurance companies repeatedly use bad faith tactics to delay, underpay, or deny valid claims made by policyholders like you. If your provider is engaging in bad faith insurance tactics and you are left unable to obtain the funds you’re rightfully owed under the terms of your policy, we can help.
Under Texas law, insurance companies owe their policyholders a duty a good faith and fair dealing; and, when they fail to honor their legal duties, those who purchase policies and pay premiums are left to suffer. We have helped numerous individuals and businesses successfully obtain insurance claims payments from their carriers through negotiations and in court. We handle cases involving insurance company workers every single day, so we are very familiar with the tactics they use and how to beat them.
Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices Include:
- Failure to complete a full claims investigation
- Requiring duplicate and/or excessive submission of claims-related paperwork
- Canceling your insurance coverage after you submit a claim under the policy
- Failing to pay claims in a timely manner
- Unjustified denial
- Lack of communication
- Increasing your premium in response to your claim
- Unreasonable delays
- Failure to disclosure the existence of coverage so they don’t have to pay you
- Misrepresenting the law or the language/terms of your policy
- Offering significantly less money than your claim is worth
- Making threatening statements
In Texas, there are two sets of laws that penalize insurance companies for acting in bad faith. The first is a common law implied covenant of good faith. Secondly, the Texas Insurance Code details what constitutes an insurer engaging in an unfair method of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The Texas Insurance Code also provides deadlines for an insurer to pay and settle claims.
If you establish your insurer acted in bad faith, you can recover the following damages:
- Up to three times the amount the insurance company should have paid you
- Attorneys’ fees, interest, and court costs
- Interest on the delayed payments
- Statutory penalties available under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act
- Punitive damages to punish the carrier
Houston Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
When your insurer acts in bad faith, you have options, including hiring an attorney to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. If you believe your insurance company delayed or denied your claim in bad faith or is using bad faith insurance practices, call on Dax F. Garza, P.C. for a free case evaluation. As experienced Houston bad faith insurance attorneys, we know how to handle insurance companies. Contact us today so we can help you hold your insurer accountable.