A large portion of Texas sits smack dab in Tornado Alley, which is what meteorologists call the area of the United States with the largest frequency of tornado activity. In fact, while many people think of Kansas when they think of tornadoes, Texas experiences more of them every year than any other state.
An example of this tendency was seen at the end of December 2015, when a massive storm system blew through North Texas, bringing with it freezing rain, flooding and a number of tornadoes. The National Weather Service confirmed at least three tornadoes in the Dallas area at one point, killing 11 people and leaving hundreds of buildings badly damaged.
Due to the sheer number of tornadoes throughout the state of Texas and the destruction they cause, businesses and homeowners tend to include tornado coverage in their insurance policies, and almost every time there are tornadoes and significant damage, it is almost certain that some insurance companies will try to deny claims that they should be paying, and making an already difficult situation worse for a business or a family.
While some tornado damage claim denials are valid and it’s true that the level and types of coverage can vary greatly, quite often an insurance company will just dismiss a claim without a valid reason for doing so.
Texas insurance law is crystal clear; regardless of the size of the claim or the extent of the damage, insurance companies are required to conduct a proper and reasonable investigation of every insurance claim and they must accept and pay a claim unless they have a reasonable and responsible basis for denying that claim. And if they deny a claim, they must notify the insured in a timely manner. Despite the law, too often Texas insurance companies act in bad faith to deny claims or otherwise inconvenience the business or homeowner, even in a tornado damage case. Among some of the more common ways they act in bad faith include:
- Failing to properly investigate and properly assess the damage caused by the tornado.
- Inundating the insured with unnecessary paperwork and burdensome steps that are not required by the policy.
- Purposely ignoring evidence that supports the claims.
- Short-changing damage estimates and offering settlements that are smaller than warranted.
- Failing to pay valid claims promptly.
- Failing to properly and fully notify policyholders in writing as to the precise reasons for denying a claim.
Unfair or Denied Tornado Insurance Claims
When a business or a homeowner has been unfairly or improperly denied an insurance claim, or the insurance company has paid far less than the claim is worth, the act of contesting these deficiencies is complicated and requires a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with a long track record of success when dealing with insurance litigation cases, such as an Insurance Litigation Attorney at Richard J. Plezia, to help you get compensation and make everything right.