Attorney Bill Voss has worked with businesses across the state to resolve large claims for wind and hail damage, and he knows just how different claims and policies can look depending on the part of the state you’re in. In some areas of Texas, commercial property insurance policies may not cover damage from hail or “windstorms” such as hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, straight-line winds, and more. However, these are some of the most common causes of damage in the state.
If your commercial property is located in one of the areas where wind and hail is excluded from general policies, don’t leave your business unprepared. Here are some things you should know about getting separate windstorm insurance coverage for commercial properties and what happens if you need to dispute a hail or windstorm insurance claim.
Texas Counties Affected by Wind and Hail Exclusions
The exclusions for wind and hail generally only affect commercial properties in the following Texas counties:
- San Patricio
- Parts of Harris County to the east of Highway 146
Businesses in these excluded areas may have the option to purchase additional hail and windstorm coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), although it is not necessarily mandatory. To qualify for this coverage, structures on the property must have a Certificate of Compliance with windstorm building code requirements. There are some exceptions and specific rules and requirements, so it’s important to check into the details for your area if you have questions about compliance. You can learn more about your rights as a TWIA policyholder by contacting the Texas Department of Insurance’s Coastal Outreach and Assistance Services Team.
Disputes Over TWIA Claim Settlements
Much like with other insurance claims, policyholders may run into problems or disagree with the insurance company about the value of their hail or windstorm losses. In these cases, commercial policyholders in Texas may have the right to dispute the claim settlement offered by the windstorm insurance company. In TWIA insurance claims, policyholders may need to first work through a request for reconsideration and appraisal. If the policyholder is still unsatisfied, the dispute may move to mediation or even eventual litigation.
For help disputing an insurance claim settlement for hail or wind damages on a business property, you can contact the experienced attorneys with the Voss Law Firm today. You may also find it helpful to read through our free book, Commercial Insurance Claims: The Basics.