HOUSTON ATTORNEY FOR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
INSURANCE & CONTRACT CLAIMS
Unfortunately, storms and accidents are a fact of life. They can happen almost anywhere, at almost any time. Even when you think you’re protected from certain natural disasters, you may find yourself with extensive property damage from a variety of sources, even theft. When this happens, you need an attorney for homeowners insurance claims.
At Reich & Binstock, we have extensive experience handling a wide variety of insurance claims, including the following.
- Residential property insurance claims
- Flood insurance claims
- Car accident claim
- Bad faith insurance claims
- Health insurance claims
- Hurricane damage claims
We will evaluate your claim and the facts of your case, then communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Suffering significant property damage can be stressful. We’re here to take some of the weight off your shoulders and fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our insurance claim lawyers, please call 713-622-7271 today.
Common Homeowners Insurance Policy Claims
Certain types of homeowner’s insurance claims are more common than others. Even though homeowners insurance is a must for property owners, filing a claim is never fun. Dealing with an insurance adjuster and an insurance company that wants to give you a lowball offer can be frustrating. That’s why it’s best to let our qualified insurance claims lawyers handle your case. Below, we outline the most common homeowner’s insurance claims that we see.
Personal Injury Claims
These are also called liability insurance claims. Although on the less common side of the claims in our list, they can be extremely costly. This is partially because many of these claims also result in legal action, such as a lawsuit. Examples of liability claims include bodily injury claims and property damage claims.
Hail Damage Claims
Hail damage claims are the most common type of property damage claims that we see, especially in Texas. Wind and hail are both common occurrences in almost every state. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent personal property damage by these weather events. According to the Insurance Information Institute, wind and hail damage claims make up approximately 40% of all homeowner’s insurance claim filings. However, they are not the most costly.
Theft and Vandalism Claims
This type of insurance claim is rare, but it still happens. If you experience theft or vandalism of your personal property, you can file a claim with your insurance provider. This claim, if approved, will cover the cost of replacing your lost items, as well as repairing the vandalism damage. We recommend working with an experienced law firm if the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation for your losses.
Fire Damage Claims
Fire, lightning, and smoke damage claims are among the most expensive types of property damage. This is because of their immense destructive power. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most common claims. Approximately 35% of homeowner’s insurance claims are filed for fire, lightning, and smoke damage.
Hurricane Damage Claims
Hurricane and tornado damage claims are also highly destructive and expensive. Some people, in the aftermath of a terrible storm, must file total loss claims. These claims are reserved for when your property is completely destroyed by a natural disaster. It is very difficult to try to mitigate the damage that a tornado or hurricane might cause. If your insurance carrier denied your claim, we recommend speaking with our insurance claims lawyers as soon as possible.
Understanding Residential Property Coverage
So, how exactly do standard residential insurance policies work? Generally, your insurance policy will cover weather-related damage, theft, vandalism, and liability coverage. Most insurance companies do not offer protection for flood damage in a standard policy. If you are a property owner and you’re unsure of what coverage you have, it might be a good idea to speak to our insurance attorneys. We will help you better understand your policy and file a valid claim for your losses. Below, we list the two types of residential property coverage.
Renters’ insurance is often required before you may move into a rental property. If your landlord requires active renters’ insurance, you’ll need to buy a policy that covers the cost of the belongings in the rental space. With this policy, you can avoid paying for repair or replacement costs for items stolen or damaged in your rental property.
If you own your own home, you likely have a homeowners insurance policy. Insurance companies offer these policies to protect homeowners against financial losses related to storm damage, theft, vandalism, and more. These insurance policies are a good idea to have, as they protect you from having to pay massive amounts of money to repair or replace your property.
When to Hire a Lawyer for a Homeowners Insurance Claim
There is no “perfect moment” for seeking out qualified insurance law firms. Rather, there are multiple moments where hiring an experienced lawyer makes sense. When you’re dealing with an insurance company, you’re dealing with an entity that exists to make a profit. Contrary to what they might advertise, insurance companies have often wrongfully denied claims just to protect their bottom line. However, you need compensation for the damage to your property, and fast.
Working with a law firm can help ensure that your insurance claim is paid fairly and within a reasonable amount of time. It can also help you fight back against an unfair insurance claim denial. Below, we list some of the reasons for working with insurance lawyers on your case.
- You have a denied claim. Receiving a denial letter can be extremely frustrating, especially when you know you should’ve had your claim approved. Working with a law firm can give you legal recourse if you have a claim denied and you want to appeal it.
- The insurance company gave you a lowball offer. Many insurance claim disputes arise from insurance companies giving lowball offers to claimants. They attempt to get away with paying as little as possible during the claims process, all to protect their profits. This is considered one of many bad faith insurance practices.
- The insurance agent is taking too long to respond to your property damage claim. Insurance carriers may drag their feet while handling your claim in the hopes that you’ll be desperate for money when they make their first offer. However, the first offer is often much too low to cover all the damages. Working with insurance lawyers often encourages insurance companies to respond more quickly.
What Should I Do If My Insurance Claim Is Denied?
If your insurance company denies your claim wrongfully, it may be time to speak with an attorney. Even after submitting a legitimate explanation for your claim, insurance carriers are still quick to send denial letters. We recommend speaking with a lawyer and beginning the appeals process as soon as possible. The amount of time you have to submit an appeal should be outlined in your policy.
Work with an attorney to formally appeal your insurance claim. When you submit the appeal, include as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Working with an attorney while communicating with the insurance company can help you stay organized. It can also help you present clearer, more convincing evidence.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Dispute an Insurance Claim?
Not everyone experiences coverage issues with their insurance company. Some people simply work with a public adjuster on their case and have it resolved quickly. However, others find themselves at the mercy of bad faith insurance practices. Working with attorneys before you ever submit a claim can help your case in the following ways.
- An insurance company will undoubtedly have its own legal resources fighting against your claim. Failing to hire an attorney for your case could result in the insurance company trying (and possibly succeeding) to take advantage of you.
- If you’re worried about legal fees when you’re already paying for the flooding damage, fire damage, or otherwise, fear not. Reich & Binstock refuses to accept a cent unless we secure a recovery for you. This is because we operate on a contingency fee basis. In other words, we won’t add to the existing financial strain you’re experiencing.
- Handling a claim on your own puts your coverage at risk. Attorneys can offer you a wealth of knowledge regarding your situation. They can also fight back against greedy insurance companies that have no intention of giving you a fair offer.
How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim
It’s important to understand how to file a claim before you even begin the process yourself. Below, we outline the steps to filing a claim with your insurance company.
- If your property damage resulted from a car accident, other auto accident, or a crime, we recommend filing a police report. It’s likely that an officer will pay you a visit and inspect your property.
- Then, call your homeowners’ insurance company. Notify them of the damage as soon as possible.
- If you need to make emergency repairs, you should start on this after you contact your insurer. These repairs might be necessary to prevent further damage or to provide you with additional protection. Keep copies of all receipts and invoices related to these emergency repairs. Additionally, take before and after photos of everything.
- Keep detailed documentation of the damage to your property. Pictures and videos of the damage and the surrounding area will help craft a mental picture of how the damage occurred. If possible, make a list of all your lost, stolen, or damaged items. Include their estimated value in this list. After this, you will meet with an adjuster about your case.
Factors That Affect Your Residential Property Insurance Coverage
Many people wonder what exactly influences how much they pay for coverage. Below, we list some of the most common factors that insurance companies consider for the prices of their policies.
- The specific insurance company you buy a policy from
- Whether or not you have bundled one policy with a separate policy
- The deductible
- The amount of coverage you pay for
- Your home’s value, age, and condition
- Where you live
- Your credit score and credit history
Can I Sue Insurance Companies for Refusing to Pay?
Yes, absolutely. If you have a valid claim and your insurance company denies it, you have every right to file a lawsuit against that company. This is because they have violated the terms of your policy. Working with skilled attorneys after a wrongful denial is essential to securing a fair settlement. We will hold greedy insurance companies accountable for their bad faith practices and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Do You Negotiate a Homeowners Insurance Settlement?
Settlement negotiations are an important part of the claims process. With the help of your attorneys, come up with a reasonable settlement amount that covers your losses. This should be the minimum amount you will accept. It’s important to gather evidence that will support this amount. Examples include quotes from contractors and the wording of your policy.
If you negotiate with your insurance company verbally or over the phone, be sure to record these conversations. Should you reach an agreement in person, this will ensure that the settlement offer adheres to any verbal promises made to you.
Remain calm and respectful throughout the process. Even if your insurer lowballs you and stalls the settlement process, it is in your best interest to remain calm. This will not only increase your chances of success, but it will also help everyone have a friendlier experience.
File a Homeowners Insurance Claim Today
If you have suffered significant property damage from a storm, theft, or another source, you need the insurance attorneys at Reich & Binstock at your side. Our professionals have extensive experience handling settlement negotiations on behalf of clients, and our prior results speak for themselves. We are not only a personal injury lawyer firm, but we also handle many types of insurance claims. To schedule your free case evaluation with our qualified professionals, please call 713-622-7271 today.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.