Insurance companies regularly use the tactics of “delay, deny and defend” when handling policyholders’ claims. At The Callahan Law Firm, we represent policyholders against their insurance companies. We help with insurance claim disputes arising from personal insurance claims on life insurance policies and homeowners’ policies, as well as business insurance claims on property insurance policies for theft, fire, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
Our Houston-based insurance attorneys understand that insurance policies are written by the insurance companies with their own best interests in mind – not those of the policyholders. Insurers have armies of lawyers and other staff whose sole job is to help the insurance company avoid paying what it should.
For more than 25 years, the attorneys of The Callahan Law Firm have fought to protect the legal rights and interests of the people of Houston and throughout the state of Texas. We know how to deal with insurance claims, and we understand that insurance companies will do whatever it takes to avoid paying legitimate insurance claims or giving you the compensation you deserve.
Our legal team includes an attorney who has worked for insurance companies in the past. He now stands up for the rights of policyholders who just want insurance companies to hold up their end of the bargain.
We strive to maintain a small-firm focus, limiting the number of cases we take on so that we can give you and your case the full attention and resources that you deserve. We make sure to be available to you to talk in person, over the phone, or by email or text to answer your questions and keep you updated on the status of your case.
If you are having problems dealing with an insurance adjuster or getting your claim accepted and paid out by the insurance company, contact a Houston insurance claim lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm today. During a free initial case evaluation, we can discuss your case, and you can learn more about your legal rights and options.
When You Need a Lawyer for an Insurance Dispute
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company in many cases will conduct its due diligence before paying you the compensation or benefits you have claimed. When that happens, there is no need for a lawyer. However, sometimes an insurance company will try to delay paying on your claim, telling you that your claim contains errors or omissions.
The insurance company may make multiple requests for additional information to support your claim. Sometimes, the insurance company might simply outright deny your claim, offering little or no explanation or offering an explanation that simply does not make sense.
When you feel as though your insurance company is engaging in tactics designed to “delay, deny, and defend,” you need a lawyer with the experience to take on the insurance company and fight bad faith insurance tactics.
A Houston insurance claims lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm can help you pursue the compensation you deserve by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of your underlying claim to recover all documents and information we can use to help support your insurance claim.
- Reviewing your claim application and responses from the insurance company to determine whether your claim dispute might be resolved with additional information.
- Filing amended claims on your behalf to correct errors or omissions in your original claim and to provide additional documents or information in support of your claim.
- Aggressively negotiating with insurance adjusters to try to secure the fair and full compensation you need and deserve for your losses.
- Pursuing legal claims for bad faith denial of insurance coverage, including potentially preparing your case to go to court and advocating on your behalf at trial, if necessary.
When you hire a lawyer after getting into an insurance dispute with the insurance company, your insurer knows that you cannot be bullied or tricked into accepting less than the full benefits and compensation you deserve under your policy.
Life Insurance Claims
Most people take out a life insurance policy to provide their loved ones with financial resources in the event of their passing. The policy is intended to help pay for funeral and burial expenses, assist with mortgage payments on the family home, or ensure debts are paid off and not left for the loved ones to deal with.
It may seem as though an insurance company has little basis to deny a valid claim on a life insurance policy. But, in fact, insurers have many tactics they use to delay or deny life insurance claims. The insurance company may assert that:
- The circumstances of the insured’s death fall under an exclusion in the policy (such as suicide or a fatal accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the insured otherwise recklessly or willfully contributed to his or her own death).
- The insured misrepresented or concealed health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, clinical depression, or alcohol or tobacco use.
- There is confusion about the identity of the proper beneficiary (especially if the insured failed to execute a designation of the beneficiary).
When life insurance companies deny or delay claims, families already dealing with the difficulties of losing a loved one face additional financial burdens that the life insurance policy was intended to solve. Let our Houston insurance claims lawyers fight to get you the compensation you and your family deserve under your loved one’s life insurance policy.
Bad-Faith Insurance Claims
A bad-faith insurance claim involves any situation where an insurance company fails to act reasonably in processing, investigating, or paying out on a policy claim. An insurance company may commit bad faith by:
- Violating its common law duties of good faith and fair dealing.
- Breaching its contractual obligations under the policy.
- Violating state or federal laws governing the insurance industry.
In most cases, a bad-faith insurance claim arises when an insurance company denies a claim or delays paying a claim that it knows or should know is a valid claim.
The insurance company will often attempt to justify its denial or delay by engaging in bad faith tactics such as:
- Misstating facts or insurance policy provisions to an insured or beneficiary.
- Failing to acknowledge and act with reasonable promptness after receiving an insurance claim (especially where the policy language requires the insurance company to respond within a certain timeframe).
- Failing to adopt and implement standards for investigating and processing claims.
- Failing to accept or deny claims within a reasonable time (or the time required by the insurance policy) after receiving the insured’s proof of loss.
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for denying a claim.
Commercial Insurance Claims
Businesses rely upon insurance coverage to limit their exposure to risks such as fire, theft, business interruption, liability claims, and other losses. When such a crisis occurs, businesses expect the insurance carrier to live up to its end of the bargain. When the insurance company denies or undervalues the claim, it can result in significant hardship and financial loss.
Businesses pay substantial premiums to ensure they have protection that can help keep their business open and afloat when something bad happens. However, commercial insurance claims often arise from widespread disasters, such as hurricanes, storms, fires, or pandemics.
During those times, insurance companies have multiple companies filing sizeable claims. When that occurs, insurance companies may try to limit their financial exposure by disputing the size of a business’s claim, demanding excessive documentation to support the claimed losses, or simply denying the claim outright because of an exclusion under the policy.
If you are involved in a business insurance claim dispute, please contact us today to arrange a free case evaluation.
Homeowners’ Insurance Claims
Has your homeowner’s insurance company denied your valid storm, fire, or theft claim? Are you dealing with intolerable delays, false claims on their part, or a settlement offer far below what you believe your coverage should provide? Our experience extends to cases arising from:
- Storms that cause extensive, costly damage to homes and businesses
- Burst pipes caused by a hard freeze resulting in water damage at South Texas homes
- Fires and explosions
- First-party construction defects
- Theft Insurance claims involving valuable items
If your home has suffered damage or loss due to storms, fires, or theft, you deserve to be made whole under your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Long-Term Disability Claims
Long-term disability claims can give workers peace of mind, especially those not covered by workers’ compensation laws. Those workers know that they will continue to receive income in the event a long-term disability prevents them from working in gainful employment.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to limit their exposure or liability by asserting that the workers’ disability is not covered by the terms of a policy. The insurance company may also force an insured to undergo multiple medical examinations in an effort to have him or her declared not disabled and capable of returning to work.
Insurance policies often include intentionally confusing language and jargon. This makes it difficult for the average person to understand the policy and what is covered, what isn’t covered, and what exceptions might exist. It is easy to feel intimidated when speaking with an insurance claims adjuster or another insurance representative, especially when they tell you that your claim is not covered.
At The Callahan Law Firm, our experienced insurance attorneys understand how these policies are written. We also know how the insurance adjusters and legal team will try to deny, delay, or diminish your claim. We will counter their efforts with a thorough investigation and aggressive negotiations or litigation, and do everything in our power to get you what you are owed.
Insurance Agent Negligence
Most people secure insurance policies through an agent. The agent’s role involves consulting with the person or company seeking insurance to determine the needs (i.e., what kind of coverage is needed and how large of a policy is needed). The agent then selects a policy that provides the scope of coverage that meets the customer’s needs.
If you need to file a claim with your insurance provider for any reason, you might discover that your agent made a crucial error, leaving you without the coverage you assumed you had. Whether the error was made intentionally or by accident, your coverage might be denied, or your policy might even be canceled.
Examples of insurance agent negligence include:
- Writing a policy that does not provide adequate coverage.
- Not explaining the terms of the policy completely and accurately to the policyholder.
- Failing to put accurate information on an insurance form.
- Failing to provide the necessary forms to the insurance company.
You rely on your insurance agent to procure a policy that protects you from certain losses. When the insurance company declines to pay compensation for that loss, it may be because of errors and negligence committed by your insurance agent in procuring your policy.
Role of the Texas Department of Insurance
The TDI is a state government agency responsible for regulating the insurance industry in Texas. When insurance agents and companies engage in unfair and unlawful practices, the TDI can impose fines or penalties. According to the agency, more than 30,000 TDI complaints get resolved each year.
The functions of the TDI include:
- Licensing insurance agents, agencies, and adjusters who work in Texas.
- Licensing insurance companies and HMOs to offer policies to residents of Texas.
- Certifying utilization review agents and independent review organizations.
- Registering life settlement entities.
- Financial monitoring and intervention of insurance companies.
- Implementing fair and efficient regulation of the insurance industry.
- Enforcing Texas insurance laws.
- Investigating and prosecuting insurance fraud, including both fraudulent insurance claims as well as fraudulent advertising and misrepresentation by the insurance industry.
- Assisting and educating consumers about insurance.
- Resolving insurance-related complaints.
- Conducting windstorm inspections.
- Engaging in fire prevention, fire safety, and fire industry regulation.
- Administering and regulating Texas’s workers’ compensation system.
The TDI maintains a helpline for consumers who have questions about insurance or who have potential complaints against insurance agents, adjusters, or insurance companies. Every year, the TDI regularly helps consumers recover millions of dollars in premium refunds and additional claim payments. However, it is important to keep in mind that the TDI ultimately does not have the power to force an insurance company to pay a disputed claim. That’s when you need a qualified, experienced insurance attorney who can take on the insurance company and force them to pay the benefits owed.
Talk to a Houston Insurance Claim Attorney Now
If you are facing a dispute with your insurer or in dealing with an insurance adjuster, schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with a Houston insurance claim attorney from The Callahan Law Firm today. We can discuss your legal rights and options, and you can learn how having our firm in your corner can give you the best chance at securing compensation in your insurance claim. You owe us no fees unless we secure compensation for you.