Review property coverage.
Make sure to review your policy coverage before initiating any type of complaint about an unpaid claim, but keep it handy when you are contacted by either the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) or the Texas Department of Insurance so you can verify that the coverages you are paying for are not being serviced.
Reasons for contacting TWIA and the State of Texas include the requirement of separate or additional windstorm policies in Texas, so depending on the nature of the storm and type of damage claims, communication efforts may have to be made in a few places and followed up with those agencies separately. Check a homeowner policy to see if mandatory evacuation costs and temporary housing is covered, especially if FEMA is involved because the storm is enormous and additional recovery avenues may be available.
Texas Windstorm Insurance.
Some insurance providers will try to deny a storm damage claim, so it is in your best interest to get an independent loss adjuster to verify the types of damages to a home and possessions, including water damage losses. Independent loss adjusters are usually contacted for damaged amounts above Ten Thousand dollars, but a comprehensive review for a lower amount may support a claim to a faster resolution.
There is a one year time allowance starting from the date of loss to file a claim with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. If you think TWIA gives an estimate of damage that is too low, call TWIA at 1-800-788-8247. Have your policy number and claim number. It’s a good idea to also make your request in writing and keep a copy or have an experienced insurance attorney correspond on your behalf.
Texas Department of Insurance.
If there is no insurance settlement in sight, and TWIA has not yielded the results you want, then you can file a property insurance complaint with the state. A complaint can be made online or by mailing a paper complaint with attachments. The Texas Insurance Administration will forward a copy of your complaint to the insurance company; obtain further information or try to get an explanation of the dispute on your behalf; explain insurance policy provisions; suggest actions to resolve your insurance problem; and take corrective action when an insurance company is acting in violation of state laws. It may be time to switch insurance carriers.
Document all items that have even small amount of damage. Walls and ceilings may need to be replaced if the infrastructure was compromised, as well as carpets, drapes, clothing and family heirlooms that may have received water damage. Do not try to clean the house yourself as you may inhale particles that may cause health issues. Insurance claims should pay for professional cleaning.
List events regarding storm damage.
Call a knowledgeable insurance professional.
If all efforts made with the insurance company and the Texas Department of Insurance do not yield a positive outcome, you may need to seek assistance from insurance professionals at Will Peterson Agency to compare an old policy, upgrade coverage and/or buy a new policy.
Will Peterson Agency
P.O Box 389
Cibolo, TX 78108