A Comprehensive Guide to Insurance Legal Rights for Property Owners in Texas

a person is giving pen and paper.

Filing a property damage insurance claim in Texas can be complex, to say the least. The situation can seem even more complicated if you don’t have a basic understanding of your insurance policy and legal rights.

Homeowners can get in-depth information about their insurance legal rights in Texas by reading the Consumer Bill of Rights created by the Texas Department for Insurance.

However, you should always consult a reliable and experienced Texas insurance adjuster to speed up the process and improve your odds of getting what you’re owed.  That said, this guide will provide an overview of the insurance claim process and homeowner insurance rights in Texas.

Understanding the Insurance Process

To begin the process, you should communicate to your insurer about your intention to file a claim. Once filed, the insurance company needs to begin the investigation as per the Texas Insurance Code within fifteen days of the claim being filed. Your insurer may ask for relevant information to process your claim, and you should co-operate with any reasonable requests.

However, you can refuse to co-operate when asked for information that isn’t relevant to your case. If you refuse to comply with these requests, you should communicate your reasons too. Make sure these communications are documented.

person handing out documents.

Once the company has your written notice, it has fifteen days to act on the claim. They can either accept the claim or deny it. If accepted, the insurer must disburse your dues within five business days. If your claim is rejected, the insurer must provide legitimate reasons for it. These reasons and relevant communication should always be documented.

If accepted, the insurer will send an adjuster who will provide an approximate cost for the damage to your property and personal possessions. If you disagree with the adjuster’s estimate, you can and should inform the insurer. You have the right to reject the settlement amount and any unfair valuations the company offers.

If the company refuses to adjust its proposed estimate, you can get an external appraisal done. Most insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which is used to determine the amount the company should pay objectively.

At this point, it’s wise to hire professional appraisers in TX who can help you assess the extent of the damage. They will also ensure that the amount you and the insurance company settle on for the claim is fair to both parties.

a professional appraiser sitting between an elderly couple

Unfair Practices

Your insurance company is obligated to follow the Texas Administration Code. The code has comprehensively-outlined practices that are deemed unfair. Some of them are:

  • Misrepresenting facts about insurance claims to applicants.
  • Not acting with reasonable care or good faith when determining settlement amounts or failing to initiate settlement proceedings when liability is clearly established.
  • Failing to provide either acceptance or rejection of coverage within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Refusal to disburse insurance dues without conducting a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Failure to provide a reasonable and written explanation of any rejection or settlement offer.

If your insurer unreasonably prolongs the settlement process they may owe you interest at the rate of 10% plus attorney fees if you sue the company and win.

Other Important Tips and Suggestions

It’s important to communicate with your insurance company proactively. Make sure the company has an active address and a phone number where they can reach you.

Always document your losses by taking pictures of items before they’re sent for repairs. Create detailed lists of the damage and consult a private estimator to get repair or replacement cost estimates.

home-insurance-policy-form

Make sure you’re present when the insurance company sends an adjuster for an inspection. You can also get your personal insurance adjuster to discuss their estimates with the company’s adjuster.

Hiring Professional Help

Please note that you always have the option of hiring a public adjuster in Texas to document and file the claim on your behalf. An experienced public adjuster should be familiar with the insurance claim proceedings and can guide you accordingly.

If you’re looking for a professional and reliable public insurance adjuster, check out the services provided by Morgan Elite Specialist Services. We follow the highest ethical and legal practices to help you get the claim you deserve.

As a reputable public insurance adjuster in Texas, we have helped several homeowners understand their rights to insurance claims and how to achieve a favorable settlement. We will represent you to the best of our abilities and fight for your rights until you get the claims settlement you deserve.

Visit our website for more information, or contact us today for more details.