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Answers from a Houston Insurance Claims Lawyer

At Dick Law Firm, PLLC, we work hard to inform and educate our clients about their cases and what they can expect down the road. We understand how confusing insurance claims can be, which is why we have provided some answers to commonly asked questions below. This is just a starting point, so if you have any questions that are not answered below, feel free to call our Houston insurance claims attorney for answers. We hope you find this information below useful.

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  • Insurance Claims FAQs

    • How do I file a claim?

      You should first contact your insurance company. The company will then schedule an investigation of your claim and assign an insurance adjustor to handle your case. You will need to negotiate a settlement with the adjustor to settle a claim.

    • When is it a good idea to hire an insurance claims attorney?

      While you are not required to hire an attorney when you file a claim, it is often recommended. Many insurance companies will try to take advantage of a client and offer the lowest settlement possible - or even deny a claim without providing adequate reasons. You should always consult an attorney to see if a settlement is fair and reasonable. Claims must also be filed in a precise and accurate manner, which your lawyer can help you with. We can look over the terms of your policy and help you decipher the complex legal language involved.

      Having an attorney is also beneficial in the event you need to take a claim to court. A skilled attorney will know how to prepare and try a case in court in order to fight for the most favorable outcome possible.

    • What do I do if an insurance company is refusing to pay a claim?

      If an insurance company is refusing to pay a claim according to your policy agreement, you may have a bad faith insurance case on your hands. Insurance companies have an obligation to honor the terms of your policy and pay out claims in a timely manner. You should contact an attorney to help you determine if your claim was handled in bad faith.

    • I disagree with my insurance company's judgment. What can I do?

      If you do not agree with your company's offer or denial, you typically will have the option of appealing. Appeals can be complex, so it is important that you consult an attorney on the proper steps and procedures. If the outcome of an appeal is still not to your satisfaction, you can take a company to court. Here, we strongly recommend you file a lawsuit with the help of an attorney.

    • What Happens If My Neighbor’s Tree Falls During a Storm and Destroys the Fence Dividing Our Properties?

      This is a great question that is literally on the fence. If you have homeowner’s insurance, they should not hesitate to cover the cost of replacing the fence. It is on your property, after all. They should then take it upon themselves to pursue the cost of the replacement or repair, including any deductibles, from your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance company, especially in cases where it can be shown that your neighbor’s lack of action caused the tree to fall. If no one is offering to pay for the fence repairs, you are likely running right into a case of insurance bad faith.

    • Will My Insurance Cover Any Food That Spoils in My Fridge or Freezer When the Power Goes Out?

      There are few lower blows life can deliver than cutting the power for a day or more right after you went on a huge grocery shopping spree. You could be out hundreds of dollars just because the city didn’t repair a downed powerline fast enough. Unfortunately, an entry-level homeowner’s insurance package will not cover food spoiled in this way. If this is a concern for you – do you have a meat freezer in the garage? – talk to your insurance agent to see how much they would charge you monthly for this additional policy and compare it to what you would likely lose in a power outage.

    • Why Are Some Forms of Water Damage Covered in My Homeowner’s Insurance Package But Not Others?

      Take a close look at your homeowner’s insurance contract and review what it says about water damage. Odds are high that it covers “sudden and accidental water damage” but not water damage caused by “flooding” or “continual seepage”. Why do insurance companies distinguish between one form and the next? The answer most likely boils down to how much money required to fix a problem and who is to blame. Sudden and accidental water damage – like someone crashing into a nearby fire hydrant that sprays through your front door – is clearly not your fault, but ignoring a leaky damaged pipe could be. And flooding causes extensive damage, sometimes entire re-flooring projects, and insurance companies just don’t want to deal with that much responsibility. Hesitation, however, is not enough to fully protect them from backlash if they refuse to help solely out of insurance bad faith strategies.