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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About The Insurance Claim Process

Do you have questions about commercial and business insurance litigation, business claims law, bad faith insurance litigation, industrial insurance claims litigation, condominium insurance claims, church claims, apartment claims, first party bad faith insurance claims, and marine insurance claims? To discuss your case, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. toll free at 888-614-7730.

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  • Should I wait to notify the insurance company of hail damage to an industrial property until I’m ready to file a claim?

    Although it’s normal to want a little time to think about the extent of the hail damage on your property and what happens next, don’t be tempted to put off notifying the insurance company about the damage. In many cases, waiting even a day or two to report a loss event can potentially wreck your claim.

    One of the first steps you should take after you recognize damage from a hail event is to look at the industrial insurance policies you hold and find out what your responsibility is for reporting a loss. While you may not be ready to file a claim for your damages right away, it is likely that you still need to notify the insurance company of what happened. While you might assume that the insurance company already knows that your entire region was pelted with a severe hailstorm, you should still err on the side of caution and notify your insurer.

    Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to file a claim right away just because you’ve reported a loss event. You will still have to go through the expected process of assessing, estimating, documenting, and preparing the claim before it is filed—but it can all be for naught if you haven’t followed through on your responsibility to notify the insurance company of a loss.

    Claims for hail damage to industrial properties can be complicated, and policyholders may have to take an active hand in their claims in order to maximize their results. If you have questions, reach out to our law office today at 888-614-7730 to talk about your concerns and schedule a free and confidential case review.


  • What can my business do if the insurance company refuses to pay for our losses after a windstorm?

    Whether you believe your commercial insurance claim for wind-related losses has been grossly undervalued or unfairly denied, it’s time to start taking action to find out why you aren’t getting the results you need. Here are three questions to ask yourself: 

    • Is wind damage a covered loss for your business? Some businesses are surprised to find out that damage from high winds simply isn’t covered under their commercial insurance policies, and others may find out that the language of their insurance policies with regards to wind damage can be unclear.
    • Have you submitted the right documentation and evidence? If you haven’t accurately, thoroughly, and appropriately presented the losses your business suffered in a windstorm, then you can’t expect to maximize your claim.
    • Have you spoken with an experienced policyholder attorney about your concerns? While there are sometimes legitimate reasons for claims to be outright denied or worth less than expected, there are also times when insurance companies treat commercial policyholders unfairly. If you are unable to get the results you believe you deserve under the coverage you carry, talking to an attorney who has extensive experience with commercial insurance claims can help you understand the next steps.

    If you need help with a denied or unvalued claim for your business, don’t hesitate to contact our law office at 888-614-7730 for a free and confidential case review. You may also find it helpful to learn more about your policyholder rights by reading through a free copy of our book, Commercial Insurance Claims: The Basics.  


  • How can my business maximize a hail insurance claim?

    Insurers across Texas have declared a “war on hail,” hoping to minimize the amount paid for hail losses across the state. But what is your business supposed to do if you experience legitimate hail damage that is covered under the policies you pay for? To maximize your commercial hail claim, you’ll need to be proactive from the beginning, which might mean:

    • Understanding your policy. Hail damage on commercial properties is often covered under a separate policy, and it’s important to understand exactly how hail losses are covered and what steps you’ll need to follow.
    • Reporting hail damage promptly. You may not have to file a claim right away, but you should notify your insurer of storm damage in the first day or two to avoid wrecking your claim.
    • Getting an independent assessment. Although the insurance company may send personnel out for estimates and assessments, you will want to make sure that all damages are thoroughly assessed and recorded—so it can pay to get an independent assessment of your hail losses.
    • Working with an attorney if you run into delays, denials, and undervalued claims. Especially after large-scale loss events, it can be difficult to get what your business needs out of a hail claim. If you run into trouble, speaking with an experienced policyholder attorney could help you maximize your claim and fight for your policyholder rights.

    Did you find this information helpful? Find the answers to many more common questions about commercial policyholder claims by browsing our other Frequently Asked Questions.


  • What can I do if a wind-damage claim for my farm has been denied?

    You’ve suffered damage to your farm in a windstorm. You believe you’ve taken all the right steps to assess the damage and submit your claim, but your claim has still been denied. What can you do?

    Agricultural policyholders rely on their insurance policies to protect their livelihoods—and sometimes even their homes, too. Farm policies can be very complex, and how they cover wind damage can vary a lot depending on the type of farm or agricultural business you own. When you file a legitimate claim with your insurer, and that claim is denied, then you can take action to make sure you are being treated fairly. And you should know that is possible to fight unfair wind-claim denials if you get help.

    If you are having any trouble with wind claims that have been denied, an attorney experienced with farm claims can help you determine why your claim has been denied and take steps to hold the insurance company responsible if the claim was unfairly denied under the terms of your policy. While policyholders may be able to take these steps alone, the complexity of the policies and the legal issues encountered can be prohibitively difficult. An experienced policyholder attorney will be familiar with the laws and regulations that matter, and he or she can help you protect your property, fight unfair denials, and maximize your claim for wind losses.

    Learn more about your rights as a farm policyholder today. Simply request your copy of our free book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims, or contact our law office at 888-614-7730.

  • How can an attorney help if my flood insurance claim has already been denied?

    If you receive a denial for a flood damage claim, you may assume that there’s nothing to be done but to start budgeting for repairs out of your own pocket. However, you should know that insurance companies are not always fair in how they handle policyholders’ claims, and flood claims are routinely delayed or outright denied. This is especially true when flooding affects a large area and stands to have a major effect on an insurance company’s bottom line.

    While it may not be clear what your rights are as a policyholder when an insurance company acts unfairly in negotiating your flood claim, you can get help. An experienced policyholder attorney can step in and help you fight, even after you’ve received an unfair denial.

    A Flood Claim Denial Isn’t Necessarily the End of the Story

    There are a lot of reasons why a flood insurance claim may be denied. The policyholder has many responsibilities when making a claim, including following the rules and terms of the policy, meeting deadlines, and submitting the correct information in the right way. However, when a claim denial is issued, policyholders may still be able to take action. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of communicating with the insurance company or going through the appeals process. Sometimes, you need an attorney to help you fight for what your claim is truly worth. Either way, you may not have to take an initial denial as the final word on your flood insurance claim.

    Unfair denials and other hang-ups do happen, and they may happen more often than you think. If you believe your flood insurance claim has been handled unfairly by the insurance company, don’t give up. An experienced attorney can help you maximize your claim and work through insurance claim disputes.

    How an Attorney Can Help Policyholder With Denied Flood Claims

    An attorney who has a wide-range of experience in insurance litigation for flooded properties will be prepared to thoroughly review your existing coverage and determine the reason for the denial. If the denial is unfair, or if you have another dispute with the insurance company over your flood coverage, an attorney can:

    • Help you understand what you’re up against. It can be difficult to understand a flood insurance policy, as well as the special legal rules for flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). While you can fight against insurance companies that act in “bad faith,” it can be hard to do if you don’t understand what your rights are or how to tell if a claim has been unfairly denied. If you’re feeling lost and confused about why your claim was denied, an experienced attorney can help you make sense of your rights and understand what happens next.
    • Arrange independent assessments of flood losses. If needed, an attorney can help you get independent assessments of your damage from experts in flood losses. Getting thorough assessments from professionals who know what to look for may help you prove to the insurance company that your losses should be paid.
    • Interpret the terms of confusing flood policies. Because flood policies are generally separate from other property insurance coverage, the terms and language can be confusing. Additionally, some types of damage may not be covered by the flood insurance policy, even though mold, basement leaks, and other issues may seem related. If you’re unsure if your flood claim has been unfairly denied, an attorney can help you look at your policy and figure out what your rights and responsibilities are, as well as what that means for your claim.
    • Prepare your case to go to litigation. Insurance companies have experience fighting legal action from policyholders, and they have teams of skilled attorneys on their side. If your case needs to move into litigation, it will benefit you greatly to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you prepare appropriately and fight for your rights.
    • Fight for the resolution you deserve. Whether your case moves into litigation or not, an attorney who has experience with insurance disputes can handle the communication with the insurance company, work through difficult negotiations, advocate for a fair resolution, and make sure that your rights are protected at every turn.
    • Help mitigate your losses in the meantime. As you wait month after month for an insurance claim to resolve, flood damages can get worse or open your property to other losses. If you’re unsure how to protect your property while your claim is unresolved, an attorney can offer helpful guidance on how to protect against losses without jeopardizing your flood insurance claim.

    It’s up to you to maximize your flood insurance claim and make sure your home, business, or other property can recover effectively. If you need help, contact our law office today at 1-888-614-7730 or use the Live Chat on this page to connect with our experienced attorneys now.

  • What can I do if the insurance company says I’ve misunderstood my tornado insurance coverage?

    When you read your insurance policy after a tornado, it may seem clear to you that the property losses you suffered in the storm will be covered. However, when your insurance company reads the same policy, it says that you’re not covered. How can there be so much confusion over a single policy when the words you’re looking at are the same?

    Unfortunately, these kinds of misunderstandings happen more than you might think. Differing interpretations of policy wording, unexpected exclusions, and even subtle gaps in coverage can mean that many seemingly legitimate tornado claims are instead denied outright. Here are some things you should know.

    Common Misunderstandings About Insurance Coverage After a Tornado

    Many property owners misunderstand the coverage their insurance policies really provide. Despite efforts to make policy terms easier for consumers to understand, these documents are often still filled with confusing industry terms and unusual definitions. While many people have read their basic declarations page, they often haven’t read deeper into their policies—and they may not be aware of important exceptions to their coverage. For example, although most standard policies will include some coverage for tornado losses, they don’t always cover:

    • Inflation adjustments. Inflation can mean that the cost of repairs or replacement has increased significantly compared to when you first purchased your insurance policy. However, insurance companies don’t always account for the most recent fluctuations in price.
    • Changes in building codes. Building codes and regulations change over time, but insurance companies won’t always cover the costs of bringing a property up to new codes. This can particularly be a challenge in areas that have suffered very heavy damages from tornados and may need to completely rebuild properties.
    • Access for repairs. Although your insurance policy may cover the repair of tornado damages, it doesn’t always cover the cost of getting in to do the job. While the costs of access lines and drywall patches may not necessarily add a lot to the final cost of a repair, they can add up quickly and come as surprise when payment is due.
    • Losses caused by flooding. Although floods often accompany tornados, the damages they cause aren’t usually covered in standard property insurance policies. Instead, most home and business owners have to submit these claims through their separate flood insurance policies. There can also be confusing exclusions or gray areas when it comes to coverage for losses due to sewer backup and overwhelmed drains in heavy rains. Insurance claims for water damage are often complicated, so make sure you understand how your coverage works.

    Another common source of misunderstanding is that insurance coverage can also vary depending on where you live. For example, in some tornado-prone regions of the Midwest, insurance coverage for tornado losses may be much more limited than in other areas of the United States.

    Clearing Up Misunderstandings About Tornado Insurance Policy Terms

    To avoid misunderstandings, the best thing you can do is make sure you carefully read through and understand your insurance policies. You should ask questions about what might be covered, and pay attention to deductibles, coverage limits, and exclusions. Don’t be afraid to ask the insurance company for help if there are sections or exclusions you don’t understand. You should also make sure to check your insurance coverage regularly and notify the company any time you’ve made major changes to your property. All of this helps you avoid surprising claim denials when you need help the most.

    However, keep in mind that there are also situations where the insurance isn’t playing fair, so don’t automatically assume that a denial or delay is your fault. There are many tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying the maximum amount for tornado claims, and there are times when insurance companies unfairly interpret policy terms to their benefit. It’s worth taking the time to talk over any major surprises in your coverage with an experienced professional.

    Insurance companies deny tornado claims for a number of reasons, and it’s not always the policyholder who is wrong. If you’ve read over your existing policies and just can’t seem to spot the problem, the next step is to take your concerns to an experienced policyholder attorney. With professional legal help on your side, you can work through your policy—word by word, if necessary—to dig out the truth about your coverage and make sure the insurance company is treating you fairly and acting in “good faith.” If you have questions, reach out to the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-614-7730 for a one-on-one review of your situation and real answers about moving forward.

  • Why does fire insurance coverage vary so much from farm to farm?

    Most farms carry some kind of insurance against fire-related losses—or they at least think they do. The problem is that the policies that protect agricultural policyholders can be very different depending on the circumstances, even when the agricultural operations affected seem very similar on the surface. This is because:

    • Farm coverage may be a mix of home and business policies. Unlike most other businesses, farms may need to be prepared for commercial losses and damages to a family home or residence on the property. Fire coverage, in particular, can be complicated because separate policies and coverage for specific property losses may be necessary to fill gaps.
    • Different farms have different needs. The insurance needs and industry risks for a small horse ranch are very different from those involved in a large-scale grain operation or a vineyard that welcomes tourists. Fire insurance policies for farms reflect these kinds of differences in coverage needs.
    • Different insurance companies offer different options. Depending on the type of policies chosen and the company providing coverage, even very similar-sounding fire policies can involve coverage surprises and differences in interpretation.

    Aside from these variances from farm to farm, there can also be surprises for policyholders who haven’t checked up on their coverage in a while or assumed certain losses were covered under their general policies. Farms often change over time, and the policies that protect them may already be very complex. It’s not unusual for policyholders to assume that their fire claims will have a similar outcome to past claims for losses or similar claims from neighbors—when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Take the time today to get informed about maximizing your recovery after a farm fire. You can learn more about negotiating insurance claims after agricultural losses by reading our free book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims.

  • How do tornados damage industrial buildings so quickly?

    Tornados can cause sudden and shocking destruction, sometimes wiping out individual buildings—or entire industrial parks—in only a moment’s time. When industrial policyholders are able to start surveying and assessing the extensive and costly damage done, one of the biggest questions is, “How did it all happen so fast?”

    Industrial Buildings Take Extensive Damage From Combined Factors in a Tornado

    It’s not unusual for industrial buildings—whether metal, brick, or more temporary building materials—to take significant damage in a tornado, and some structures may even be completely destroyed. This destructive power is usually due to a combination of:

    • Debris. High winds can toss debris across long distances with great force, whether that debris is made of loose branches and roofing material or large trees and twisted steel.
    • Wind. Once debris has broken windows or punctured a building, high winds rapidly rush into the structure. This causes a kind of “inflation” effect that can cause roofs to lift, ripple, and even collapse entirely. Industrial buildings may also have features, like large bay doors or specialized roofing, which can also allow tornadic winds to rush into the building and cause significant damage.

    Extensive Industrial Tornado Losses Can Be Followed by Frustrating Insurance Claims

    No matter how carefully industrial policyholders prepare their tornado-loss claims or how extensive their losses, they still run into problems with unfair delays, mysterious denials, and disputes over the cost of recovery. If you are having trouble negotiating a fair resolution for damage to your industrial property and need help, connect with our experienced team today.


  • What kinds of problems should we expect when filing a hail damage claim for church buildings?

    While you may not run into problems every time you file a hail claim for your church, problems are more common than most policyholders realize—and it makes sense to plan ahead and understand what to look for. Here are some examples of the kinds of problems our clients have had with their hail claims:

    • Delays. The most common problems policyholders run into with their hail claims is not knowing what’s going on. Churches can wait weeks or months without progress, and a lot of phone calls, emails, and letters to the insurer might be ignored.
    • Denials. Denials are common, but churches may not have to accept a denied claim. Whether the insurance company is arguing that the damage didn’t come from hail or that the terms of your policy won’t cover the losses, you may be able to fight for the coverage you deserve.
    • Repair versus replacement. Hail-damaged churches end up settling for repair costs from the insurance company instead of needed replacements far too often, and it’s important that you make a strong case for replacement when necessary—even if the insurance company doesn’t see it that way.
    • Incomplete assessments. Another common problem has to do with how careful and thorough hail-damage assessments are. If the assessment is incomplete or rushed, a great deal of damage can go unreported and cause problems down the road.
    • Undervalued claims. Insurance companies are keen on saving money, and they often undervalue even small hail claims to protect their own bottom line. If your church has suffered losses in a hailstorm, it’s worth the extra effort to maximize your claim and make sure the offer you receive is fair.  

    Find out more about the problems policyholders run into when filing claims and what to do if it happens to you. Visit our other Frequently Asked Questions or connect with our legal team on Facebook today.


  • What can I do if I disagree with the insurance company over fair settlement of a claim for flood damages to my dairy farm?

    Dairy farms can be decimated by serious flooding, especially when it is unexpected or outside of the usual flood regions. Losses of livestock, milking equipment, farm tools, and more add up to a costly recovery, and farmers trust their flood insurance companies to be ready to compensate them fairly when a loss event takes place. However, sometimes farm insurance companies don’t treat their policyholders fairly, and farms need to take action to protect their rights.

    If you have been unable to negotiate a fair resolution on a flood insurance claim, here are some options for working through the disagreement and maximizing your claim:

    • Don’t accept an offer from the insurance company that you aren’t comfortable with. If you aren’t sure if the insurance company is offering a fair resolution for your flood claim, don’t accept the offer until you’ve had a chance to review it thoroughly.
    • Speak to an attorney who is experienced with insurance disputes. An attorney who is familiar with similar types of agricultural claims can guide policyholders through the necessary steps to identify problems with their flood claims and demand fair treatment from insurers.
    • Take independent steps to document damage and collect evidence of losses. If you are relying solely on assessments and estimates prepared by the insurance company or its contractors, talk to your attorney about bringing in a contractor you trust for another opinion. You will also want to start collecting the documentation, photographs, and other evidence needed to prove that you deserve more for your farm’s losses.

    For more information about farm losses and insurance claims, take a moment today to request your FREE copy of our easy-to-understand book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims.


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The Voss Law Firm, P.C. represents clients on a local, national and international basis. We proudly serve companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast and around the globe on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm collects nothing unless we recover on our client's behalf.

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