Hurricane Harvey Flood Claim Lawyer
Why You May Need a Lawyer for Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims
As many homeowners are now learning, filing an insurance claim for damages
caused by Hurricane Harvey is not a straightforward process. In this section
of our ongoing series on insured property damage due to Hurricane Harvey,
the insurance claim lawyer at the Doan Law Firm will explain how a property
damage lawyer can help you receive the best possible settlement for your
Covered and uncovered losses vs deductibles
When a property damage insurance policy is written, it is practically never
“all-inclusive.” This simply means that some portions of your
property may not be included in such coverage. This can be a complex area
of insurance law and it is always best discussed with a property damage
insurance claim lawyer. In practice, the most common terms that you may
encounter are covered losses, uncovered losses, and deductible charges.
covered loss is any loss that the insurance company has specifically agreed to pay
within the terms of its contract (policy) with you. Since most insurance
policies will cover essentially the same losses, it is often necessary
to understand what an uncovered loss is and how such losses can impact
the insurance claim process.
Uncovered losses are those that the insurance carrier has no legal obligation to pay. Uncovered
losses may be those where the property to be insured includes objects
that have no “real” value in terms of dollars and cents but
whose value is, for the greatest part, “personal” or “sentimental”
in nature. An uncovered loss can also result from how the damages were
incurred, as explained below.
As many property owners are only now learning, in most cases damage due
to flooding is
not covered by a basic homeowner policy unless 1) the homeowner purchased
a separate flood insurance policy from a federal or state insurance program
or 2) the homeowner purchased additional flood damage coverage, sometimes
called a “rider,” from the same company that provided the
homeowner’s basic insurance. Also, any damages that are the direct
result of a deliberate
act of commission or omission (something that you did or did not do) by the policy holder are usually
not covered by insurance.
deductible portion of a property damage claim refers to the portion of a claim that
is the responsibility of the policy owner. As an example, let’s
assume that a property damage claim is approved for $5,000 and the policy
has a deductible of $1,000. The insurance carrier would then pay $4,000
of the loss to, say, a contractor and the policy owner would be responsible
for paying the same contractor the deductible of $1,000 to satisfy the
contractor’s charge of $5,000.
Time limits for filing an insurance claim
Texas civil law requires that property damage insurance claim must be filed
within a certain time limit. This time frame is called the
statute of limitations and will vary in its length depending on the type of claim that is being
filed. Using a Hurricane Harvey damage claim as an example, any claim
for property damages must be filed within two (2) years of the date on
which that damage occurred
or (and a very important
or) within the time limit set forth in your property damage insurance policy.
In practical terms, this means that you should file your claim as soon
as possible after the damage occurred. Texas, like other states, is very
strict in this requirement and a claim that is filed even one day after
the statute of limitations has “run out” will probably be
rejected by a state court should it become necessary to present the matter
of a disputed claim to the decision of a jury. There have also been recent
changes to the Texas rules of law that can impact the timing of lawsuits
regarding disputed insurance claims. These changes are best explained
by a property insurance lawyer who is familiar with the details of your
The Doan Law Firm works for you, not an insurance company!
Given the extent of damage caused by Harvey, it should come as no surprise
that there will almost certainly be a slowdown in the rate at which property
damage claims are evaluated and paid. In most cases this is can be understood
as simply an “overloading” of the claim settlement process.
Unfortunately, there will be some insurers that will try to exploit this
slowdown to intimidate some policy holders into accepting an undervalued
When you work with the Doan law Firm, we will first help you determine
the repair or replacement value of your lost or damaged property and its
status under the terms of your insurance coverage. We will then work with
your insurance company and its adjusters to make sure that they will honor
the terms of your insurance coverage and pay you the settlement that you
are entitled to receive. In most cases, you need not be personally involved
in all stages of the settlement process since we will be acting on your
behalf as your personal representative while your claim is being resolved.
As a personal injury and property damage practice, the Doan Law Firm of
Houston has years of experience in dealing with insurance companies, their
agents, and insurance adjusters. Let us work for you to help you recover
the best dollar-value settlement of your Hurricane Harvey property damage claim.
The Doan Law Firm of Houston (833) FLOOD-LAWYER 1 Riverway Suite 2325 Houston,
Texas 77056 (832) 835-0000