Damages caused by flooding can be serious, and classifying the damage properly is important because many times that will govern which insurance policy will cover repairs and replacements. Flood insurance policies and homeowners' insurance policies differ in their coverage and exclusions.

Brent Cordell

Principal Office in Houston, TX.
Phone: 1-844-8LEGAL8 (1-844-853-4258)
email: bcordelllaw@gmail.com

Brent Cordell

Attorney at Law

1 844 - 8LEGAL8 (1 844 853-4258)

Texas Flood and Water Damage Claims


 

In April 2016 Houston, Texas experienced what has been referred to as a "500 year flood".

Texas has been hit with dozens of major floods throughout the years, which have caused hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Because of it's location in a low-lying wetland near the Gulf Coast, Houston in particular is subject to flooding from weather conditions ranging from heavy thunderstorms to hurricanes and tropical storms. The heavy residential and commercial development across Harris County, especially on the relatively higher ground north and west of Houston's center, has caused drastic changes to the area's natural drainage system. The crucial freshwater wetlands which collect and retain water have been rapidly filled in since the early 1950s, and as the city continues to grow the millions of gallons of water produced by large storms simply has nowhere to go.

Damages caused by flooding can be serious, and classifying the damage properly is important because many times that will govern which insurance policy will cover repairs and replacements. Flood insurance policies and homeowners' insurance policies differ in their coverage and exclusions. Whether or not the damages occurred as a result of the rising and overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land will be an important factor, if not the deciding factor, in making this determination.

Unfortunately, many homeowners filing claims and expecting relief from their losses find out that the insurance companies regularly deny or lower property claims related to flood damage. Insurance companies may deny a claim for any number of reasons that range from pre-existing damage to neglect and everything in between.
 

Although dealing with extensive flood and water damage can be a very emotional process, commercial property owners and homeowners should document as much as they can to prepare for a claim. If your home has been damaged by flooding, we recommend compiling the following information to increase your chances for a successful claim:

  • Photographic Evidence – Be sure to have photos on hand of the damage caused by the storm to the exterior, interior and property within the home. We recommend taking pictures of the common structures in the house as well as the foundation, too.
  • Estimates, Invoices and Receipts – Keep copies of any repair estimates you might receive. Additionally, be sure to collect any receipts or additional involves for the repairs made on the house. For personal possessions, gather your original receipts if you can and collect the receipts for any replacement items you might purchase. If you rent a hotel or experience additional costs because you are unable to return to your home, be sure to keep those receipts and document all expenses you incur as well.
  • Phone Conversation Notes and Contact Info – If you have any contact with insurance representatives or others related to your claim, be sure to take good notes and record the name of the person that you spoke with. In addition to this information, homeowners often consult with an attorney that understands homeowner insurance litigation and your legal rights as a policyholder.

Bad faith insurance involves any matter where an insurance company has breached its implied obligation of good faith and fair dealing. This occurs most often when a consumers claim is unreasonably delayed, underpaid, inadequately investigated, or entirely denied. Bad faith insurance companies use fraudulent and deceptive tactics to intentionally deny or withhold proper payment of policyholders' claims.

If the insurer goes too far in delaying investigation, settlement or payment on your claim, our experience with bad faith insurance litigation can protect your interest in full payment. You might also be entitled to additional damages and attorneys fees for bad faith settlement practices.

In any insurance and disability claims, consumers should be fairly represented by the insurance company to whom they pay a premium, and often, a deductible. It is important for a bad faith claimant to recognize, however, the economic and time costs associated with proceeding with a bad faith claim can be large.
As such, bad faith lawyers often require a case show reasonably large damage amounts in order to pursue a bad faith claim.

Brent Cordell can advise and represent property owners when their insurance companies resist full payment on flood and water damage claims. He can help you get the benefit of your insurance protection at all stages of the claims process, from emergency living expenses to complete coverage of repair and reconstruction.

 

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