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Houstonians Face Potential Hurdles in Handling Flood Claim

Houston was recently hit by severe storms and flooding. Many homes along the bayous that give the city its nickname were inundated with many feet of water. Recovering from such a catastrophe is difficult and can be time consuming. As part of that process, victims of flood or storm losses must file claims with their insurance company. The claims process involves the insurance company sending an adjuster and determining the size of the insured's loss. Insureds can protect themselves by documenting their loss themselves with pictures and videos.

On May 28, 2015, FEMA extended the Proof of Loss form deadline from 60 days to 240 days making the new deadline date January 20, 2016. The extension does not extend the insurance companies' time to pay a valid claim. Under section 542.058 of the "Texas Insurance Code", insurance companies are given a reasonable amount of time to make payments of claims after receiving required documents from claimants. If an insurer delays payment beyond the reasonable time given, there can be financial consequences.

Another reason is that some valid flood claims are wrongfully denied. Denial of a claim, however, is not the end of the rope. When an insurance company decides to deny any claim, it assumes the risk that the denial is wrong. This subjects the insurance company to liability and it will have to pay more than it would if the company had honored the valid claim.

Lastly, some adjusters underestimate the cost of recovery. If an insurance company fails to provide a reasonable payment, under the Texas Insurance Code, they again may face financial consequences.

If you, or someone you love, suffered a loss that has been wrongfully denied or whose payment has been wrongfully delayed by the insurance company, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

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    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

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    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

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