In Texas, October is considered our second most severe weather month after the spring storms that hit between the months of March and June. The recent tornados in the DFW Metroplex left behind devastating damage to homeowners and commercial property owners throughout the region. The tornados destroyed homes, businesses, and cars; delayed, rerouted, or canceled flights; caused school closures; and resulted in over 130,000 people throughout North Texas without power due to the excessive damage.
According to the National Weather Service, the first tornado touched down in North Dallas on Sunday night October 20th around 9 p.m. and was rated an EF-3 with winds up to 140 mph. The second tornado, which was rated an EF-1, touched down about 30 minutes later in Rowlett, Texas where winds were approximately 100 mph.
Texas weather is unpredictable at best, and these storms can cause serious damage to your property. Property damage may include the functionality of your roof, the livability of your home, or the profitability of your business.
The following is a checklist that property owners should follow after a storm has damaged your property:
- File a claim as soon as possible;
- Keep copies of everything you send your insurance company, and a record of every adjuster you speak with;
- Research contractors/roofers;
- Get an independent inspection of the damage;
- Make temporary reasonable repairs to prevent further damage; and
- Document damage, the date of the storm, and make a list of all necessary repairs.
If your insurance company denies your claim after it is filed, and that denial is for reasons such as improper installation, damage from a prior storm that did not occur during the policy period, wear and tear, or marring, this decision may have been made in bad faith. An insurance company’s Bad Faith Insurance practices are potentially violations of the Texas Insurance Code, Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), and the Common Law Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and you should consider seeking an attorney if you believe that an insurance company has wrongfully underpaid or denied your claim. Because an insurance policy is a contract that is signed between an insured and the insurer, then you may also have a breach of contract claim against the insurance company for failure to pay the claim according to the terms of the insurance policy.
At Preston Dugas Law Firm, we are familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying insurance claims to homeowners and commercial property owners. We are dedicated to preventing insurance companies from taking advantage of property owners. We have your best interest in mind to help you recover money so that repairs can be made to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied, or underpaid on, a property damage claim, we encourage you to contact us right away.