As a homeowner or businessowner, obtaining a comprehensive insurance policy to protect your property is crucial to maintaining peace of mind. These policies provide protection against catastrophic losses that can devastate not only your physical property, but also your family or your ability to earn a living.
Sadly, the insurance companies that administer these policies will make every effort to avoid paying you. They may state that the loss is not covered under the terms of the policy. In other situations, they may even act in bad faith to delay or even outright deny compensation. If you are in a dispute with an insurance company concerning a loss due to fire, floods, hurricane, or any other event, contact an insurance claims attorney at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC today. Our dedicated lawyers could help homeowners and businessowners understand their rights concerning first party insurance in Houston.
State Law Strictly Regulates the Insurance Industry
Despite Houston being in a state that values the independence of people and companies, the insurance industry must still abide by strict regulations. This is especially true when dealing with customers and policyholders.
A clear example of this is the prohibition on acting in bad faith when a policyholder submits a claim for payment. According to Texas Insurance Code § 542.003, an insurance company commits an unfair trade practice and violates the law if they fail to respond to a customer’s communication, refuse to obtain full information concerning a loss, or fail to provide a fair settlement claim if liability for the loss is reasonably clear.
Put in simpler terms; insurance companies must thoroughly investigate every loss that a customer suffers. They must remain in communication with the customer, and if an investigation makes it clear that a policy covers a loss, they must provide a fair payment option. This concept applies to all first party insurance interactions, and an experienced lawyer in Houston could help to determine if a violation of state law has occurred.
Enforcement of Insurance Policies and Other Remedies
Signing a homeowner’s or businessowner’s insurance policy enters that party into a contract. In exchange for the payment of premiums, an insurance company agrees to provide compensation in the event of a covered loss. A key point of dispute in many insurance claims is whether a loss is actually covered under the terms of the contract.
This idea is especially important in an area like Houston. For example, a common homeowner’s insurance policy may cover simple water damage but appear to exclude damage from a flood. Similar concepts might protect a business from wind damage but exclude coverage for hurricanes. One way in which an attorney works to protect clients is by evaluating the language of their insurance policies and demanding that an insurance company provide compensation following a covered loss.
In cases where it appears that an insurance company has acted in bad faith, state law provides for enhanced remedies. The law allows a policyholder to demand enforcement of their policies in the form of the payment of a claim. However, it also allows an individual to demand payments for interest that accrue on the claim while awaiting judgment or even attorney’s fees that accumulated while seeking legal help. A determined insurance claim attorney could assist people looking for resolutions concerning their first party insurance policies in Houston.
A Skilled Attorney Could Help with First Party Insurance in Houston
Holders of first party insurance policies in Houston, such as homeowners or businessowners, should expect to receive protection from insurance companies after a covered loss. However, insurance companies may deny a claim on the allegation that a policy does not provide this protection. They may also act in bad faith, which is in violation of state law.
In either situation, speaking with an attorney could help you demand enforcement of your rights under an insurance policy. A diligent lawyer at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC could work to evaluate the terms of your policy and compare them to the stated reasons for a claim denial. They could also work to examine the actions of an insurance company to see if they acted in bad faith. In either case, reach out to an insurance claims attorney now to protect your rights to first party insurance in Houston.