Texas First Party Insurance Claim Attorneys
Accidents, violent storms, freak weather conditions – every year, numerous Texans come face to face with the stark reality that catastrophe can happen at any moment. When the unthinkable happens, policyholders turn to their trusted insurance companies for help and compensation for their losses.
Today’s insurance commercials have turned to cute characters, celebrities, and a dose of humor to convince you that they are on your side no matter what. However, many Texans find out the hard way that the sales pitch is much different than reality.
After a significant event, dealing with an insurance claims adjuster can be frustrating, overwhelming, and intimidating. Instead of receiving fair compensation, some policyholders are short-changed. This ends up making an already traumatic situation even more unbearable, as individuals realize the payout won’t come close to covering the damage.
You’ve paid your dues, and you are owed more than a lowball offer or half-hearted excuse about what your policy suddenly won’t cover. That’s why you need the legal team at Attorney Tom. We have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to negotiate aggressively with their adjusters. As a policyholder, you have rights. The lawyers at Attorney Tom will work tirelessly to help protect those rights and get you the full and fair compensation package you deserve.
If you are filing a first-party insurance claim, contact the skilled lawyers at Attorney Tom for valuable advice. We will happily review your case, analyze your policy, and make sure that your company is dealing with you in good faith. The case evaluation is free, which means there is no reason not to call. Call (713) 244-6363 today.
What Is a First Party Insurance Claim?
The Texas Insurance Code defines a first-party insurance claim as a claim made by the insurance policyholder or a claim made by a beneficiary of the insurance policyholder. In essence, a first-party claim is a request for compensation made to an insurance company by the policyholder in the event that the policyholder incurs some type of loss. The most common types of policies that account for first party insurance claims are typically health insurance claims, life insurance claims, homeowner’s claims, and storm damage claims.
First party claims differ from third-party claims in that third-party coverage typically only applies to liability insurance claims. A liability policy is an insurance policy that is designed to insure against a loss to a third-party, not necessarily the policyholder themselves. Examples of third-party coverage can include auto insurance and homeowner’s liability insurance.
The Purpose of First Party Insurance Claims
First-party insurance claims are meant to protect policyholders from loss. That means when a catastrophic event takes place, the policyholder files a claim, and their insurance company provides them with compensation to cover their loss. As simple and straightforward as it sounds, things rarely work out that simply or easily for those making the claim.
The claims process itself can be lengthy and overwhelming. Insurance adjusters may begin the process of treating you as if you were a good friend or neighbor. They’ll tell you their number one priority is helping you recover from this devastating loss. They will help walk you through the process and answer all of your questions.
To the surprise of many policyholders, this attitude quickly shifts when it comes time to talk hard numbers. Suddenly you are inundated with information about what you did wrong, how the claim you made is insufficient in some way, or how your policy simply doesn’t cover the property you lost. The compensation they may end up offering you can be significantly lower than the value of your loss.
Why does this happen? Insurance companies operate under a for-profit business model. That means their number one concern is their bottom line. Are they making money? In order to do that, they will try to minimize their payouts, where they can, or even deny claims, if they find a reason to do so.
What Is Bad Faith Conduct?
Insurance companies are required to act in good faith when dealing with policyholders and their claims. In fact, under the Texas Insurance Code, there is a section called Deceptive, Unfair, and Prohibited Practices. This code lays out the conduct and practices that insurers must avoid if they wish to remain on the right side of the law.
Operating outside these parameters can be considered an act of “bad faith.” Acting in bad faith refers to words or actions that are intentionally dishonest or misleading. Examples of conduct that could be considered acting in bad faith and are prohibited under the Texas Insurance Code include:
- Misleading a policyholder on the value or amount of their claim
- Failing to make a good faith effort at reaching a fair settlement when liability is reasonably clear
- Misrepresenting a policy provision
- Failing to conduct a reasonable investigation before denying a claim
- Failing to provide an explanation for a claim denial
- Delaying the claim process without valid and reasonable explanation
- Unreasonably delaying the payment of a valid claim
Not only is this type of conduct prohibited, but it is also unfair to you, the policyholder. You have paid your premiums in exchange for coverage in the event of an accident or catastrophic event. You deserve full and fair compensation for your losses. Insurance companies that act in bad faith hope that when they use these tactics you’ll back down. By intimidating you, they can get away with skirting the rules and pay you less than what your claim is worth.
Insurance companies may also be counting on the fact that you have just incurred a serious loss, and that loss has now put you in a financially difficult situation. Those desperate for compensation are easy targets for these strategies. Someone with a serious loss who may be in dire financial straits may be willing to accept any settlement, even if it low and undervalues their property, simply because they need the money immediately to be able to survive. This is behavior that takes advantage of a person when they are at their most vulnerable.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Handle a First Party Insurance Claim
After an accident or catastrophic event, a victim shouldn’t have to take on overwhelming paperwork or fight with an insurance adjuster over policy details. They should be focusing on themselves, their family, and putting the pieces of a shattered life back together again. An attorney can take the reins and shoulder the burden of dealing with the insurance company while you focus on restoration and healing.
A qualified and experienced first-party insurance claims attorney is an invaluable asset. An attorney has the skills and the resources to investigate the cause of the damage, analyze your specific policy, and review all the state laws that are applicable to your situation. Once the full picture is in view, an attorney can quickly determine if you are being treated fairly and if the insurance company is negotiating with you in good faith.
What if the insurance company is using deceptive practices or are operating in bad faith? Again, having an attorney on your side not only means you have someone to identify unfair practices, but you also have someone with the power to hold the company accountable for their actions. A lawyer can protect your rights, fight for fair compensation, and hold an insurance company accountable if they refuse to pay you the money you deserve.
The legal team at Attorney Tom has extensive experience handling first-party insurance claims and dealing with aggressive insurance companies. We almost exclusively work in the insurance field and understand the lengths some companies will go to in order to keep money in their pockets and out of your hands.
Do you need to file a first-party insurance claim due to a tornado, hurricane, storm, or another serious event? Contact the experienced team at Attorney Tom for help. We can walk you through the claims process, review your policy, and negotiate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.
Don’t Wait, Our Advice Is Free
If you have suffered a loss due to storm damage, a natural disaster, or another significant event, contact the team at Attorney Tom for valuable legal advice.
We understand that you are in a vulnerable position – that’s why the case evaluation is free. We can review your complaint, analyze your policy, and walk you through the next steps in the process.
You deserve the full and fair value of your loss. Before an insurance company tries to short-change you, call Attorney Tom at (713) 244-6363. We are committed to making sure you are being treated fairly.