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DENIED OR UNDERPAID INSURANCE PRACTICES: UNDERSTANDING THE TEXAS UNFAIR CLAIM SETTLEMENT PRACTICES ACT

Von Dohlen Law Firm

Damage to your home from a storm is traumatic enough. One day your lovely castle that you’ve worked so hard to pay for is looking great and protecting you from the elements… then a storm hits and the next day you’ve got damage to deal with. Maybe a hurricane tore the roof off, or maybe there’s more subtle damage – like hail damage lowering the life of the roof. When you file an insurance claim, it’s not supposed to get worse, but it can—and does.

Many insurance companies engage in questionable and bad faith claims practices to minimize the amount they have to pay out. Although the Texas Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act is intended to prevent them from doing so, the problem is that policyholders don’t always have a solid understanding of what is and is not covered in their insurance policies. Consequently, these people are taken advantage of and receive less of a payout than they are entitled to.

Let’s take a closer look at what your insurance company can and cannot do under the Act.

What Constitutes an Unfair Claim Practice?

The Texas Insurance Code requires insurance companies underwriting any type of policy in the state (e.g. automobile, health, disability, life, homeowners) to meet certain standards of conduct. The Texas Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (Insurance Code §§542.001-542.302) legally prohibits insurers from any of the following claims practices:

Many policyholders who have either had their claim unfairly denied or been offered a subpar settlement may feel helpless in the face of the insurer’s comparatively greater resources, and accept what they are offered because they believe they have no choice. Don’t make that mistake.

In Texas, if you have been victimized by delayed, denied, or underpaid insurance practices, you have consumer-friendly legal options available to you, including suing the insurance company. In certain instances, state law even allows you to collect punitive damages and legal fees in addition to any outstanding amounts owed under your insurance policy.

For assistance in asserting your rights and obtaining the payment you deserve, contact the    Von Dohlen Law Firm today.

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