Helping You Obtain the Settlement You Deserve
At Gonzalez Druker Law Firm, we assist residential and commercial property owners with their property loss damage claims. When your home or business is damaged by a storm, fire, or another unfortunate event, your insurance company should cover your losses. When they deny your claim, our Laredo insurance claim lawyers can help you get the money you are owed.
Our legal team can help you fight back against a variety of denied insurance claims, including:
- Commercial property damage claims
- Storm damage claims
- Hail damage claims
- Fire damage claims
- Hurricane damage claims
As a business owner, you spend a significant amount of money each year on commercial property insurance to ensure you are financially protected in the event of a disaster or accident.
Potential risks for a commercial property owner that are typically covered by insurance include:
- Water leaks
- Storm damage
- Smoke damage
- Fire damage
- Falling objects
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always have property owners’ best interests in mind, and sometimes act in bad faith, failing to pay the benefits according to the terms in the policy. If your insurance company has violated the terms of your insurance contract, Gonzalez Druker Law Firm is here to help you hold them accountable and get the settlement you deserve. We are committed to ensuring that our clients get the financial compensation necessary to cover the costs of their repair bills and other related expenses.
Understand Your Policy
It is extremely important that you have a good understanding of the your rights, obligations, and what is covered by your insurance policy. At a minimum be aware of the following:
Although Texas law provides for two years to file a lawsuit for claims related to wrongfully denied or underpaid insurance claims, when purchasing your insurance policy you may have contractually agreed to a much shorter time period in which to provide the insurance company notice of your loss. Your policy may require you to notify them of your claim no later than one year from the date of loss. To be on the safe side, provide your insurance company notice of your claim as soon as possible.
Replacement Cost Value (“RCV”) vs. Actual Cash Value (“ACV”)
Let’s say the 10 year old roof of your commercial building is damaged in a hail storm. If your commercial property is covered by an RCV policy, the policy should cover the actual cost for replacement or repair to up to your policy limit minus your deductible. In the same scenario, but with an ACV policy, the claim would be adjusted to factor in depreciation based on the age of the roof and the wear and tear prior to the date of loss. In addition, your deductible would also be subtracted. It can be quite shocking how little is offered by an insurance company to settle a claim under an ACV policy after it has been adjusted. Naturally, RCV policies provide higher recovery potential for a loss. However, RCV policies are more expensive than ACV policies. Which type is better? It really comes down to your risk tolerance. However, it is important to make an informed decision about what type of policy you want. Many of our clients did not even know they had an ACV policy until after they were making a claim and learned their recovery would be thousands less than the true cost to repair and/or replace their roof. Mostly all of them say that they would have gladly paid more for an RCV policy had they known.
It is important that you keep organized and detailed records of maintenance done to your building. It is also imperative to have a qualified roofer inspect your roof at least once a year. When making a storm damage claim, we have to prove that the damage caused to your property was caused by a particular event. If there were multiple covered events that occurred over a short time period, insurance companies will often say that your damage was caused by an earlier event where coverage is unavailable rather than by the event on which your claim is based. Having organized and detailed maintenance/inspection records can combat against this tactic. In addition, for those with ACV policies, detailed records can assist with increasing the value of the claim by making it more difficult for an insurance adjuster to subtract higher depreciation amounts if you can demonstrate that the roof was in good condition with minimal wear and tear prior to the date of loss.
If you own a home that has been damaged by a fire, storm, hurricane, or hail, you expect that your insurance coverage will kick in to cover the costs of repair. However, getting the money that is rightfully yours from an insurance company is rarely an easy process.
Insurance companies often attempt to save money by:
- Undervaluing claims
- Unnecessarily delaying the processing of claims
- Denying claims outright
- Canceling policies without reason
If your insurance company has acted in bad faith towards you in any of the above ways, our legal team can help. We are dedicated to fighting to protect your rights and ensuring that your insurance company pays the full amount your claim is worth.
At Gonzalez Druker Law Firm, we have seen firsthand how devastating significant property damage can be for residential and commercial property owners, and the hardship faced when the insurance company is unwilling to do their part. In fact, one of our Laredo insurance claim attorneys was denied a claim for hail damage prior to becoming a lawyer. For these reasons and more, our legal team is fully committed to holding insurance companies accountable and ensuring our clients get the money they deserve.