Hail and windstorms are a part of life across Texas, which is why we purchase property insurance. We need protection for our homes, offices, and/or other valuable possessions should they sustain damage from severe weather in the region. But even if premiums are paid timely, your insurance carrier might engage in bad faith practices to delay, underpay, or deny your claim. You might get a payment that doesn’t come close to covering your wind damage loss amount, which may run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The windstorm insurance claims lawyers of Minces Rankin PLLC represent individuals that have suffered property damage as the result of severe weather. We fight for homeowners and business owners who have been insured privately and suffered wind damage and who have been insured through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). If you live outside TWIA coverage areas and sustained wind damage in Hurricane Harvey, you will have to file a wind damage insurance claim with your own private insurance company.
We handle property damage claims stemming from gale force winds, wind driven rains, and flooding. The legal landscape surrounding these claims is complicated, however, as changes to the Texas State Insurance Code made it easier to underpay or deny windstorm claims. While claims filed through TWIA were not affected by these changes, special laws passed by the Texas legislature also made it harder for Texas residents who sustained wind damages in “coastal counties” to recover “bad faith” damages, such as penalties, interest, and other punitive damages from their insurers.
Who Qualifies for TWIA Coverage?
TWIA is infamous for undervaluing wind damage insurance claims, delaying claims payments, and/or denying payment altogether. TWIA is a state-formed program that insures areas other insurance companies will not. Managed like a private insurance company, it operates independently and has generated many complaints due to its bad faith actions. If you carry windstorm insurance through the TWIA, you can file a claim online or call 1-800-788-8247. To obtain windstorm coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), the subject property must meet requirements established by the Texas Legislature outlined in Texas Insurance Code Chapter 2210, including:
- Properties must be located in the 14 first-tier coastal counties:
- San Patricio
- Applicants must have been denied coverage by at least one authorized insurer actively writing or renewing windstorm coverage in their area
- Properties must be certified as having been built to applicable building codes, with limited exceptions
- Properties located in designated flood zones
- Properties must meet all other underwriting requirements
How Do I Know If I Have Wind Insurance Coverage?
There are three basic types of policies that could cover wind-related natural disaster damage:
- Windstorm insurance, which covers any wind from hurricanes or hailstorms
- Flood insurance, which covers rising tides or flooding in your property
- Combination insurance, which covers both wind and water damage
To find out which type of insurance you have, you can read your own policy, although the language is long and confusing, you can contact the agent who sold you the coverage, or you can reach out to an experienced insurance attorney.
Houston Windstorm Insurance Coverage Lawyers
If you are struggling to obtain your rightful payment from your insurance provider following a severe storm, our law firm is ready to hear from you. We know the tactics big insurance companies use to avoid paying policyholders and have years of experience holding them accountable on behalf of those in need.
While insurance companies rake in billions of dollars in revenue, they often leave hard-working Texans who pay their premiums out in the cold after a massive storm. To maximize profits, carriers take advantage of policyholders seeking fair compensation for their losses by delaying, underpaying, or denying legitimate claims. When you have an experienced wind damage insurance claims attorney working on your team, you let the insurance company know you are ready to fight for your legal right to the full compensation you are due under the terms of your policy plus any statutory damages for their bad faith actions. For more information on how Minces Rankin PLLC can help you with your residential or commercial wind damage claim, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.