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Can an insurance company just ignore someone’s claim?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Property Damage Insurance Claims |

Most people who purchase real property in Texas also carry homeowners insurance. They may not even think about their coverage, as their mortgage company handles renewing and paying for the policy every year with funds from their escrow account. Financial institutions providing mortgages almost always mandate homeowners insurance to protect the property they finance.

That way, if there is a catastrophic incident, the mortgage company won’t be at risk of the buyer defaulting because they can’t live at the property. Homeowners insurance helps provide the support people require to rebuild after a total loss or to repair damage caused by storms or criminal activity.

Homeowners who usually pay their insurance premiums for years without ever making a claim. Unfortunately, when they do eventually make a claim, they may feel as though they get no support and may not have any communication from the insurance provider. Can an insurance company ignore a claim from a policyholder?

Texas law limits claim turnaround time

No matter how busy an insurance company is, it still needs to comply with Texas laws regarding the claims of policyholders. In general, insurance companies have 35 days to respond when a policyholder files a claim due to damage to their property.

However, homeowners might worry that the company could claim it never received any communication from them. Sending policy paperwork via the United States Postal Service (USPS) can help assuage that concern. Under insurance laws in Texas, there is a presumption that the insurance company has received mailed paperwork by the fifth day after someone sent it to the business.

Policyholders can send registered mail or request a delivery confirmation from the USPS so that they can prove they submitted the appropriate paperwork to the company. If the company never acknowledges or responds to the claim, then the policyholder might need to take additional steps.

A company that has already violated Texas insurance statutes by ignoring claim documents might very well continue engaging in misconduct. Policyholders dealing with inappropriate insurance company practices may need to prepare for the possibility of pursuing a bad faith insurance claim in court.