A look into the Insurance Claim Process
The average Texas homeowner makes a homeowner’s insurance claim every 9 years, which is just enough time to completely forget everything you knew about insurance claims.
Insurance companies often take advantage of homeowner’s lack of expertise with the insurance claims process. Our hope is that by providing this information we help level the playing field, giving you a better chance of achieving a favorable settlement in a timely manner. And if that isn’t possible, you’ll know what to do to enforce your rights.
1. File a Claim
If you haven’t already filed a claim, do so as soon as possible. This guide assumes you’ve made a recent claim on your homeowner’s policy. If you haven’t, check out 6 Colossal Mistakes Homeowners Make with Insurance Claims and file your claim!
2. Be Present
It’s in your best interest to meet the insurance adjuster or independent inspector so you can answer any questions and point out damage. Don’t let an adjuster make an incorrect assumption or jump to an inaccurate conclusion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but don’t volunteer too much information.
3. Keep Notes
You assume your claim will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t make sure you’re documenting all communications along the way. Record dates, times, and names of everyone you speak to, as well as what was promised during those conversations.
4. Follow Up
Your claims adjuster handles many cases at one time. To make sure your claim is handled promptly, stay in regular contact throughout the process. Be ready to provide requested documentation promptly. Remember that he/she is not your friend, so don’t volunteer any unnecessary information.
5. Watch the Calendar
Once the claim is received, the Texas Insurance Code states that the insurer has 15 days to either approve or deny the claim. When the insurance company accepts the claim, they have 5 business days to pay. If the company rejects the claim, they must give you a written statement explaining their decision.
6. Don’t Settle
Insurance companies are in business to make money; so, their goal is to minimize your claim. Don’t be talked into accepting a settlement that is less than what is fair because you’re weary of the process. Be persistent and hold out for the check you deserve. Read your policy and negotiate for your rights under your policy.
7. Get Help
If your claim is unreasonably delayed, or if you are unable to achieve a payout that fully covers your loss (especially if denied); it’s time to get professional help.
Reputable “bad faith” attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis – meaning there is no out-of-pocket cost unless they help you collect on your claim. In Texas, if you must hire an attorney to enforce your policy and the claim is ultimately paid, your insurance company is required to pay your legal fees, so you have nothing to lose!
If your claim is wrongfully delayed or denied and you would like the advice of an experienced insurance claim law firm, contact our team today at 877-408-3328 or to schedule a no cost, no obligation consultation, click here.
We are pleased to assist clients with select services on a contingent fee basis, meaning that if the firm does not obtain a recovery, or if the amount recovered does not exceed the amount of costs and expenses, then the firm is not entitled to any fees.