You know that it will take some time before your home and property are in full working order, but you’re happy to have survived the storm and that you have the opportunity to rebuild. You filed your claim, and waited for the response...but instead of a check, you received a denial on your claim for damages you know to be covered. What should you do next?
5 Things to Do When Filing a Texas Storm Damage Insurance Claim
The first thing you should remember is that dealing with an insurance company is a marathon, not a sprint. Anything that sounds like a quick way out—such as a lower settlement or accepting the decision—will cost you more money in the end. While you regroup after a claim denial, take these five actions to continue working on your claim:
- Check your policy. Your insurer should give you a clear reason why your claim was denied. Check your policy (or ask an attorney to read your policy for you) to determine if you have been denied for a valid reason.
- Appeal your claim denial. There are many filing deadlines under Texas insurance law. You have a limited amount of time to file your claim, but you also have a limited amount of time to dispute the claim before the insurer closes your case. Follow the procedures for contesting the decision outlined in your insurance policy, including sending a copy of the page of your policy that contains the appropriate clause of coverage.
- Keep copies. Always keep a record of any correspondence you have with the insurance company, including emails, documents, and people you speak to on the phone. All of this information will be invaluable as evidence in your storm damage lawsuit.
- Inspect the damage. Storm damage can extend far beyond cosmetic issues such as ruined paint or missing roof tiles. Have an independent professional inspect your home or vehicle for other potential problems caused by the damage, such as engine failure or structural issues. Keep a copy of the full list of potential repairs and estimates in your files, including photos and videos taken of the damage. Do not accept the estimate of the insurance company’s inspector, as he will likely lowball repair costs.
- Keep repair receipts. You could be waiting weeks or even months to get your insurance payment, but you cannot drive a car with two broken windows while you wait. Any repairs you make while waiting for your claim to be processed should be documented thoroughly, such as car rentals (when yours is in the shop), costs of repair, emergency and overtime costs from repairmen and contractors, and the costs of staying in a hotel if your home is unsafe to live in.
An Attorney Can Help You Get the Coverage You Deserve
The easiest way to get the coverage you deserve is to have a Texas property damage attorney examine your claim as soon as possible. Call Wayne Wright today at 800-237-3334 to have us examine the details of your case at no cost to you!