While Hurricane Harvey is still wreaking havoc across Houston and the Gulf Coast of Texas, it is important for property owners to understand their rights and the steps ahead when it comes to filing insurance claims. Due to a new law approved by legislators earlier this year and set to take effect in Texas on September 1st, homeowners will have limited rights when it comes to holding insurance companies accountable for delaying, underpaying, or wrongfully denying legitimate claims.
House Bill 1774, which will become law this Friday, reduces the amount of interest insurers have to pay policyholders in the event they unreasonably delay payment of their claims. Under current law, insurance companies found to delay payments are required to pay insurance claims with 18% interest. The new law would reduce that interest rate to roughly 10 percent. HB 1774 also reduces attorney fees when homeowners fail to estimate their property damage within 80% of the actual damages.
Consumer advocates are raising awareness about the bill not only because it degrades the rights of policyholders who have been harmed by their insurance providers, but also because it is a timely issue for victims who have suffered damage to their property as a result of Hurricane Harvey. While many residents across the region may still be reeling from the storm and the substantial damage it has caused, it is important to take this new law into account, and to file homeowner’s insurance claims as soon as possible – before September 1st. Doing so will protect one’s ability to recover 18% interest should an insurance company delay payment.
If you have experienced damage due to Hurricane Harvey, here are few important steps you should be taking:
- Take photos of all damage to your home and insured property.
- Find and re-read your insurance policy.
- File a claim before Friday, September 1st
- Contact a lawyer
How The Daspit Law Firm Can Help
The Daspit Law Firm is actively assisting property owners throughout Houston and the state of Texas with insurance claims resulting from damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Led by Attorney John Daspit, who has extensive experience as an insurance defense attorney, our legal team understands the intricacies of insurance law, the claims process and system in place, and how insurance companies all too often place profits over people when they attempt to unfairly delay, underpay, or deny legitimate claims.
If you are considering filing an insurance claim following property damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, or have had a claim delayed, denied, or underpaid, we encourage you to reach out to our legal team for more information about your rights and how we can help. Our Hurricane Harvey insurance claim lawyers are available 24/7 and provide FREE consultations. Contact us to get started.