Denied, delayed or underpaid home insurance claim?

collect wastewater from the garage

MONTGOMERY, Texas, United States, June 21, 2021 / – Insurance experts stink in more ways than one.
Many insurance companies consider plumbing part of the homeowner’s routine maintenance. The maintenance is entirely the responsibility of the owner. Pipe damage that develops over time due to lack of maintenance is usually not covered. Pipes in this condition could flood an entire home, causing catastrophic damage! For an insurance company to cover a broken pipe, the burst must have happened suddenly and by accident, and should not have been easily preventable. If an ignored leaking hose suddenly bursts, insurance company agents will look for evidence of a long-term leak and will likely deny your claim. Some insurance policies look at the differences between what is called “resulting damage” and “initial damage”. Yes water damage resulting from a broken pipe or appliance is dealt with in your insurance policy, then you could be compensated for all or part of the damage … even if the damage did not occur instantly.

When a pipe bursts, home insurance typically covers rugs or rugs, flooring, drywall, and paint in most cases. Any cleaning service can also be included in your coverage. Unfortunately, the cost of the problem, repairing the broken hose or replacing the broken appliance is usually not covered.

What happened first? Damage to the foundation or the bursting of the pipe?
In the case of one of our clients from Montgomery, Texas, the family of three suffered a pipe burst in their garage wall. The bursting pipe caused sewage to leak onto the garage floor and the resulting smells permeated the house for a year before the matter was resolved. Because the insurance claim was underpaid, the owner had no choice but to clean up the mess himself, which ultimately led him to contract E. coli and require urgent medical attention. .

In addition to the damage done to the garage and the smell of sewage inside his house for a year, our client lost all of his personal belongings in the garage during a flood. Their insurance company sent an adjuster and engineer to handle the carrier’s side of the insurance claim and both noticed that the damage could come from moving the foundation, citing cosmetic repairs that had been done. in the corners of the foundation. Our claims adjuster determined that the damage was indeed sudden and accidental and covered by the owner’s insurance policy. This lightness on the part of the insurance company allowed us to pursue 8 times the initial payment from the insurance company to our client, allowing our client to make the appropriate repairs and continue to live odor-free. sewer in their house.

What can you do to prevent your water damage claim from being denied?
Make sure all repairs to your home are well documented. Keep all receipts for any professional services that may have worked on your pipes or home. These recordings can make or break a refusal, delay or underpaid insurance claim. Replace pipes that are beyond their structural integrity. Inspectors can find telltale evidence of a slow leak and can deny your insurance claim accordingly. Know where the shut-off valve is in your home in case you need to turn off the water quickly. Do your best to keep your pipes from freezing. Wrap the pipes, let them drip if necessary, heat the house, etc.

Filing a complaint Advice.
Keep proof that you have paid the deductible for your claim. State law allows insurance companies to request a verification, such as a receipt or a check stub, that you have paid for the repairs in the amount of your deductible.
Keep your receipts for temporary repairs, but do not perform any permanent repairs until the claims adjuster clears you to do so. Failure to do so can make it harder to pay your claim.
Examine your policy. Find out what is covered and what is not and any deductibles. Contact your insurance agent if you are unsure of your coverage.
Document your communication with the insurance company. Write down the date, name and role of each person you speak with and the content of the conversation.
Get a second opinion. Obtain repair offers from other contractors and compare them with the insurance adjuster’s report before settling your claim.
Assert your right to the protection you paid for and be prepared to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim.
Be present when the claims adjusters visit so that you can report any damage.
Document the damage. Photos and videos can strengthen your complaint.
Be patient. Each insurance company treats claims differently.

Should I hire a lawyer?
If you think your insurance policy covers your loss and your insurer does not, or if you think that the damage you suffered is much more than your insurance company compensates you, or if your insurer has completely disregarded your claim, then the Texas Insurance Code allows recovery of “actual damages, plus legal costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees” and if the insurer has acted in bad faith, you can claim compensation up to “three times the number of actual damages”.

If you are unsure whether or not your situation warrants filing a claim against your landlord’s insurance company, Contact us. Free consultation. No clawback equals no charge.

Chris Flynn
Chad T. Wilson Law Firm
+1 832-415-1432
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