Your homeowners insurance policy has terms that hold your insurer responsible whenever your property takes damage. Granted, there are exclusions and limitations to what your insurer can cover, but the company must assess your claim regardless of whether it’ll pay.
However, some insurers might try to find ways to avoid paying your claim or at least avoid paying the entire amount. How can you tell if your insurer is treating you unfairly?
Unfair practices to look out for
The following are some unsavory business practices that an insurer might try to do to avoid paying a claim:
- The company refuses to pay but doesn’t thoroughly investigate your claim.
- It fails to approve or deny coverage within 15 days of receiving your claim.
- It misrepresents certain facts about the claim, or suddenly claims that there are policy revisions that exempt it from paying your claim.
- It denies your claim without giving a reasonable explanation.
- The insurer fails to provide the correct forms during a settlement.
- The insurer is not trying in good faith to close a settlement fairly despite clear liability.
If your insurer does any of these practices, they’re violating Texas’ Insurance Code.
Suing your insurer
If the unfair treatment of your insurer led to you losing money – such as paying out-of-pocket for home repairs – you have the right to file a lawsuit. If you win the suit, you can recover the money you lost. And if the court discovers that your insurer knowingly violated your rights as a consumer, it could award you an additional $25,000.
Before filing a lawsuit, consider consulting a legal professional. Insurance lawsuits can be very complicated, and your insurer could put up a stubborn defense, so having an attorney review your case to ensure it’s airtight will be helpful.