And A Statute Fast Approaches.
This time of year traditionally means flowers and other demonstrations of affections for our our loved ones. However, if you are a Texan, it also brings up the all too recent memory of Winter Storm Uri - which struck the Lone Star State during Valentine's week 2021!
By the way, It is by no mere coincidence that early voting for Texas primaries also begins this year on Feb 14th! A lot is riding on the winter weather history not repeating itself again this year!
The Winter Freeze of Storm Uri, which severely impacted the entire region, took us all by surprise! Early on Accuweather reported estimates that the multistate damage model would exceed 155 billion plus. They went on to report that the Texas portion of that damage was estimated to be over 130 billion. Google now tells us that “Winter Storm Uri began to hit parts of Texas on February 13, and close to 4.5 million homes and businesses were left without power at its peak, killing more than a hundred people while producing an estimated $295 billion in damage.”
The Winter Freeze of Storm Uri, was also the largest insurance claims event in Texas history! Important Note: The one year statute on many policies is days away! If you have experienced an underpaid, denied, or delayed insurance claim, now is definitely the time to do something about it!
In an article by This Old House, it is stated that “When water freezes, it expands in volume by 9%. When this happens, in a closed pipe, the ice displaces the water, which increase its pressure exponentially. If this is allowed to go on for too long, the pipe will burst.”
Sage Water also tells us in a recent article that, “Leaking pipes, no matter how big or small, can cause a multitude of problems, including the development of mildew and mold from water damage. The report goes on to say that, “Repeated and undetected leaks are a primary cause of moisture build up behind walls, ceilings, and even flooring, leading to product deterioration and mold infestation.” The report also gives common signs that your property may have water
damage and mold growth:
- The walls or flooring smell musty or moldy.
- When you run your heating or air conditioning system it has a musty/moldy odor- indicating there could be a problem in your HVAC system due to condensation buildup.
- The floors are popping up or warping; the carpet is wet or has wet spots and you can see water along your baseboards.
- Paint on interior walls or ceiling surfaces is wrinkled or bubbled.
- You can hear water dripping, spraying, or running behind your walls.
- The walls feel damp, squishy or soft or have a noticeable discoloration.
Winter Preparation 101:
- Clean your gutters! – If you have clogged gutters, your roof is susceptible to leaks, mold growth and damage.
- Have your roofer perform a pre-winter, roof check- up (notating any soft spots, wind lifted or missing shingles, or hail damage areas on the roof/soft metals).
- Have an HVAC professional conduct a pre-winter freeze risk assessment for you, and wrap pipes with insulation and lining cold spaces like basements and atics. Make sure to check and fix any existing cracks or leaks before wrapping.
- AS your HVAC professional conducts a pre-winter freeze risk assessment, have them also change (or clean) your air filters to help with air flow, and also make sure nothing is blocking your fresh air supply and return air vents- this can make your HVAC unit work harder.
- Open doors under your sinks to provide warm air circulation (in preparation for a hard freeze).
- Let the faucets drip (during a hard freeze).
- Locate the water shutter off valve for the property.
As mentioned above, statutes are upon us, as we approach the one year anniversary of The Winter Freeze of 2021. If you are still dealing with an underpaid, denied or delayed insurance claim, you will definitely want to take action sooner than later.
A good policyholder attorney is the final part of the equation. A good policyholder attorney will hold the carrier’s feet to the fire when claims arise. It is well documented that insurance carriers can sometimes implement various tactics when trying to lessen their financial exposure to claims, including: underpayment, denial, and the delay of claims. This is no surprise, given the record number of increasing weather events in the last several years (as documented in earlier VLF blogs).
This is why it is important to consult with a reputable policyholder attorney when filing a claim, and especially if your claim has been denied, delayed, or underpaid.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholder’s rights for the past sixteen years, recovering billions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
Feel free to call, or email today for a free consultation on your file.
We are 100% contingency fee based. No recovery, no fee.
Todd Farr- Director of Client Relations.