Your homeowner’s insurance policy serves two important purposes. It protects you from liability when you have visitors at your property. It also protects you from catastrophic events, like extreme storms or burglaries.
When you suffer some kind of loss, like damage to your roof or the theft of valuable personal property, you will file a homeowner’s insurance claim. You probably looked over your policy paperwork carefully to double-check what kind of coverage you had and what deductible you might need to pay.
You need the funds as soon as possible to repair your home or replace the stolen items. Unfortunately, the insurance company hasn’t responded to you yet. What can you do?
How long is too long when handling a claim?
Insurance companies should operate in good faith, meaning that they should uphold their policies when a customer has a valid claim. When the insurance company engages in bad faith insurance practices, they open themselves up to litigation and even punitive consequences.
Delaying the payout on a claim is one of many forms of bad faith Insurance. Texas law requires that insurance companies adhere to a specific timeline when handling claims. Once you notify the insurance company of your claim, they have 15 days to acknowledge you. They should send you any specific paperwork that you need to complete to submit your claim.
Once you fill out and return that paperwork, the insurance company has another 15 business days to make a determination about the claim. Finally, they have five days after their decision to issue payment once they approve the claim.
What happens when your case falls outside of those guidelines?
Maybe it has been a month since you submitted your paperwork to the insurance company. Perhaps you received your claim approval notice two weeks ago but have not yet received a settlement check. If the insurance company ignores you or doesn’t immediately correct the situation when you contact them, you may need professional help.
Having a lawyer reach out on your behalf might motivate them to finally make good on their promises to you. If they are still not forthcoming with the payment of your claim, then you may need to take them to civil court. A bad faith insurance claim will not only help you get the money you need from your policy, but it could also create penalties for the insurance company.
Knowing the Texas laws that apply to homeowner’s insurance claims will make you a better advocate for yourself when handling a sizable claim.