Hurricane Harvey and Commercial Business Insurance Damage Claims
Let The Doan Law Firm protect your rights in a commerical business insurance claim
As we have noted in other posts on this site, the economic damage caused
by Hurricane Harvey will be felt for years to come along the coastline
communities of southeastern Texas. Although there was considerable damage
to private residential and rental property, an often overlooked or underrated
impact will also be felt by businesses and commercial property owners
as they strive to reopen and provide steady income for themselves and
In many cases, these businesses will depend on commercial property insurance
settlements to offset at least some of the costs of rebuilding. Since
there are already reports that some insurers may be attempting to “limit
their losses” by using practices that violate both the terms of
their contracts with policyholders, the Commercial Insurance Claims lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm will give examples of such practices before offering suggestions as to
how an insurance claims lawyer can help business owners protect their
right to a speedy and fair insurance settlement.
Illegal practices by commercial insurance companies
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the following actions (among
many others) on the part of an insurance company are specifically dealt
with under Texas law:
- An insurer, its representative, or any other person, may not misrepresent
the terms and provisions of a policy.
An insurer, an insurance adjuster, or investigator cannot deliberately
misrepresent the terms of an insured’s coverage for the purpose
of deceiving a policyholder as to the extent of that policyholder’s
coverage. This is particularly the case if the dollar value of a claim
is being “downplayed” or “underestimated” by the
carrier or its adjusters.
- It is inappropriate for insurers to re-rate, cancel, non-renew, or refuse
to provide coverage due solely to a policyholder’s status as a victim
of Hurricane Harvey.
Unless an insurance premium rate-change, or any other aspect of commercial
insurance applies to all policyholders in circumstances similar to yours,
your insurer cannot make any significant changes to your existing coverage
without the prior approval of the Texas Department of Insurance.
- Require that a policyholder use only a contractor that has been "approved"
by a property insurance carrier.
A property of business owner is free to choose the party to make any repairs
that will be covered under the terms of their individual insurance policies.
This means that you, not your insurance carrier, has the final say regarding
- Any public insurance adjuster (one that is not a regular employee of an
insurer) that is also a contractor may not solicit business where that
adjuster has the potential to submit bids for repair services.
The Texas Department of Insurance considers an adjuster that is also a
construction or repair contractor to have a potential “conflict
of interest” in such matters and specifically prohibits such adjusters
or their employees from bidding on jobs where such adjusters also gave
repair estimates to an insurer.
If an insurance company uses, or attempts to use, any of the above-listed
practices it may be guilty of breaching its contractual duty toward its
policyholders. If it can be proven in court that an insurer willfully
and knowingly used such “bad faith” tactics, that insurer
may be liable for damages far in excess of the money it attempted to save
How the Doan Law Firm can help businesses that may have problems with commercial
In most cases involving disputed commercial insurance damage claims, it
can be shown that an insurance company failed to “act in good faith”
when attempting to resolve any disagreement between itself and the property
owner. As we discussed on a previous post, “How to Deal with 'Bad Faith' Insurance Claims,” insurance companies will often resort to any tactic that they
believe they "can get away" with when they are faced with having
to pay substantial claims such as those that will result from Hurricane Harvey.
At the Doan Law Firm, we have had success in forcing insurance carriers
to meet their obligations to policyholders. In many cases, we have done
so by negotiating a settlement on behalf of our clients but we are always
willing to have a Texas jury decide the matter in a court of law. In either
case, the Doan law Firm is always ready to represent anyone or any business
that feels it was victimized by an insurance company.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of an insurance company that
is attempting to pressure you into an unfair claim settlement, we urge
you to contact the Insurance Claims lawyer at the Doan Law Firm to arrange
a free review of your case and advice on how to best protect your legal
rights in a Texas court of law.
The Doan Law Firm 1 Riverway Suite 2325 Houston, Texas 77056 (832) 835-0000