Insurance Companies Must Respond to Recent January 9 Storm Damage Claims, Houston Lawyer Says

Insurance Companies Must Respond to Recent January 9 Storm Damage Claims, Houston Lawyer Says

Houston attorney Brad T. Wyly

(PRWEB) January 17, 2012

Powerful storms, including a reported tornado, swept through Houston and its surrounding areas last week, causing damage to homes and businesses that may be covered through individual insurance policies, says Houston attorney Brad T. Wyly.

Unfortunately, Wyly says, too many of these first-party insurance claims will lead to disputes between home and business owners and their insurance companies.

“After a natural disaster strikes, such as a storm, tornado or hurricane, you expect your insurance company to do what the policy says they’ll do and pay full value on your claim,” Wyly says. “However, insurance companies make money by minimizing the amount of money they pay to settle claims. In too many cases, that means they will unreasonably delay or deny claims.

“If that occurs to you in the aftermath of these terrible storms, it’s important to seek the help of a first-party insurance claims lawyer who has experience with handling these types of disputes and who is committed to protecting the rights of insured parties,” said Wyly, whose Houston law firm evaluates business / commercial property first-party insurance claims and residential / homeowners claims.

According to the Houston Chronicle, homes and businesses throughout the Houston region were hit hard last week by storms that dumped up to four inches of rain overnight in parts of Harris County and nearly seven inches in spots near Sugar Land.

In addition to rain and flooding, the storms also brought strong wind gusts, including a tornado packing 95 mph winds that touched down briefly in the Mission Bend community southwest of Houston on January 9, the Chronicle reported.

If the hail, strong winds, flooding or falling branches and other debris from the storms harmed an insured’s residential and / or business properties, the insured may have already filed a claim for compensation. The terms of the policy will control what is covered, Wyly said.

A Texas insurance company must acknowledge the claim within 15 days of receiving it. In most cases, the insurer will then send a claims adjuster to inspect and evaluate the damage, Wyly said. If the insurer accepts the claim, the company must pay within five days of acceptance.

“Issues arise when the insurance company, after sending out an adjuster, agrees to pay only part of the claim or rejects the claim outright,” Wyly said. “There are also cases where the insured party waits weeks, months – even years – for the company to pay the claim. When you’re dealing with the need to make immediate repairs to your home or business, a lengthy delay can be extremely frustrating.”

According to the Houston first-party insurance claims attorney, Texas law entitles policyholders to penalty payments if an insurance company fails to meet required deadlines.

If the company fails to attempt to reach a fair and reasonable settlement of a first-party insurance claim, then the policyholder may be entitled to bring a bad-faith insurance practices lawsuit against the company under the Texas Insurance Code, Wyly added.

“The bottom line is that insurance companies have a legal duty to deal with their policyholders in good faith, whether you are a residential property owner or a business property owner,” Wyly said. “When the company fails to fulfill that duty, the law entitles you to relief.”

About Wyly Law Firm, P.C.

The Wyly Law Firm, P.C., is a Houston law firm that represents home and business owners in first party insurance disputes and personal injury victims, including those injured in car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accidents, throughout Houston and surrounding communities, including Harris County, Baytown, Pasadena, Galveston, Beaumont, Bellaire, Cloverleaf, Spring Valley, Missouri City, Aldine and Jersey City. The firm also handles business law issues and disputes.

Attorney Brad T. Wyly, the firm’s founder, is a skilled negotiator and lawyer. Wyly has extensive experience in personal injury cases, including claims involving complex accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. He has been named a Rising Star in Law & Politics magazine. To contact Wyly Law Firm, P.C., call (713) 574-7034 or use the firm’s online form.


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Protect Your Business from Liability Claims Using Public Liability Insurance

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Businesses that are directly associated with public are prone to liabilities as there are chances of accidents, even after making a conscientious effort to avoid them. If your customer or any other person sues you for death, injury or property damage at your premises and if you do not have public liability insurance, you may face significant costs that can cripple your business.

These liabilities pose a severe financial threat to the businesses. Apart from the claimed amount, the high legal costs incurred in defending the cases filed by the third-parties are also to be paid by the company. Hence, having public liability insurance is very important to get out of these unexpected heavy expenses.

Read on further to know about the frequency of personal injuries at business places and how the public liability insurance helps in protecting your business from these claims.

Statistics of injury claims: According to the reports released by the Injuries Board of Ireland, there were 8,645 personal injury claims lodged in the year 2009. Among them, one in six (17%) were related to public liability, with an average award amounted to 23,143 Euros for each claim. Nearly 51% of these accidents took place in privately owned establishments, 25% in retail/shopping outlets and 19% in pubs/night clubs or restaurants. With this high rate of accidents, businesses are required to take a public liability insurance to stay guarded of future legal claims.

Listed below are the benefits of having public liability insurance.

Reimbursement of claimed amount along with legal fees: Public liability insurance compensates you with the amount of reimbursement claimed by the third-party and also the money paid as legal charges for fending such claims. This is especially significant since you are required to pay large amounts of money as legal fees.

Covers expenses related to property damage: In addition to death and injury, the damage or loss caused to the property of the third-party is also covered. Hence, a public liability policy provides the third-party with the repairing costs of the damaged property or the cost needed to buy a new property.

Offers recovery expenses: Another good thing about the policy is that it offers recovery expenses. Along with the claimed amount and legal fees, the policy also provides medical aid to the injured person. This insurance covers costs related to hospitalization, treatment cost, medical bills, rehabilitation, and other damages. Some policies also offer domestic help and other aids to help the victim recover quickly.

Provides assistance in legal dealings: The main advantage of liability policy is that the business owners do not have to constantly worry about the legal fights. The insurance company deals with all the legal complexities associated with the claim. For instance, if you lose the case, the insurance company pays the compensation and the legal fees, and if you win the case, it collects the legal fees from the injured party. This way the insurance company eliminates your legal hassles.

Protects the employees: Public liability insurance cover helps and protects the employees in case they are responsible for any accident that injures or damages a third-party or his property due to negligence at work. As they represent the company, the policy indirectly protects them from legal costs. This shows the company’s concern towards its employees.

In order to survive in this litigious society, every business needs public liability insurance to protect itself from the risks, costs and compensations associated with accidents.

About the Author

Keystone Insurance Group is Ireland’s premier supplier of public liability insurance and business insurance solutions to Irish industry. We offer a broad range of builders insurance, construction insurance, and business liability insurance products. Our public liability insurance Ireland and business insurance Ireland products offer great value to contractors and general business customers. Our experienced and professional team quickly arranges quotes for all classes of business insurance.
 Cottage Industry are a 4 piece ceilidh & barn dance band from Dorset specialising in song and dance from England, Ireland & Scotland plus medieval banquets, shanty sessions and Dorset, St. Patrick’s & Burns’ evenings. Cottage Industry were established in 1976, since when the band has been on one long rollercoaster of a tour! Gigs across the country have included theatres, castles, country mansions, hotels, boats, clubs and pubs – and leaky barns! It also seems like almost every village hall in Dorset & Hampshire has echoed to the sound of the band’s driving jigs & reels! Highlights of the past 30 years have included a ‘medieval banquet’ broadcast live from the BBC studios in Southampton and playing aboard a schooner owner by an exiled Cuban goldminer – with a crew of 10 Swedish girls! Over the years the band has done quite a lot of recording – starting in about 1978 in a 4 track garage studio owned by photographer Roger Holman, to BBC Maida Vale Studios in 1981 & 1982 which produced a release “We’re All for Swanage”, a song about Swanage Railway that made us famous on TV and radio – well, for about half-an-hour anyway! In recent years Cottage Industry have recorded in Peter Aston’s 16 track studio. Cottage Industry are available for engagements in England & Wales. A quick way to check our availability is to click on “Bookings” in the left hand menu. As Peter Aston is a member of the UK Musicians’ Union, engagements carry automatic public liability

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