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Recovering Additional Living Expenses

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Homeowner’s policies typically include coverage for additional living expenses. This provides money for the cost of housing, food, and other living expenses incurred while your home is being repaired. Insurance companies will often try to force their insured to live in cramped hotels. While this may be suitable for a handful of days, for most people it is not a long-term viable solution. Getting Legal Help is the First Step If you are in need of assistance with homeowners’ policies, contact us today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

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When Can Your Life Insurance Claim be Denied Due to a Misrepresentation?

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Our attorneys represent policyholders whose claims have been denied for a variety of reasons, including misrepresentations on a life insurance application. A policyholder has a duty to provide accurate information to the insurer. If the application contains a material misrepresentation, the insurer may deny your claim. However, just because an insurance company claims a material misrepresentation was made does not make it so. In many cases, an insurance company’s denial is wrong. A material misrepresentation is the purposeful or unintentional concealment of a relevant fact. The most common misrepresentation issue that arises in life insurance cases concerns the disclosure of health information. For a variety of reasons, the fact that a medical condition was not disclosed on an application does not immediately give the insurer the right to deny the claim. Sometimes an applicant may not disclose a minor medical ailment. Other times an applicant may not be aware of a diagnosed condition. Further, the application itself may have not been fully completed by the applicant or the agent. It is also not uncommon for the insurance company to already have the information that it claims the applicant did not disclose. In short, insurance companies often claim an applicant made a material misrepresentation when the opposite is true. Incontestability Clause State law requires life insurance policies to contain a clause that state the policy will be incontestable after it has been in force during the lifetime of the insured for two years from its date, except for nonpayment of premiums. Despite these legal protections, insurance companies will still deny valid claims. Speaking with an Attorney You should consult an attorney if you believe your life insurance claim was wrongfully denied. In many cases an alleged misrepresentation is not material, in which case, the insurer is liable under the policy. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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TX House Committee on Insurance Considers Bills to Purporting to Increase Understanding of Insurance

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Today the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Insurance considered two bills purporting to increase your understanding of your homeowners’ insurance and car insurance. HB 1554 relating to the language of personal automobile or residential property insurance policy documents and related materials by Rep. Smithee would authorize an insurer to provide a customer a copy of insurance policy documents in a language other than English. In the event of any conflict between the English version and the alternative language version, the English version would prevail. HB 1555 relating to the status of personal automobile or residential property insurance policy summary documents by Smithee would authorize an insurer to provide plain language summaries of insurance policies. Both HB 1554 and HB 1555 are clear that they would not modify the policy of insurance but are rather intended to assist insureds to understand these complex policy documents. It is unclear why HB 1554 or HB 1555 are necessary. Presently, there is nothing that prevents or prohibits insurance companies from providing copies of the insurance policy in a language other than English or from providing policy summary documents. Any claims that they may run afoul of penalties for misrepresenting policy provisions are baseless, as an insurance company need only include a disclaimer that the policy controls. These bills appear to be a backdoor way for insurance companies to mislead policyholders while avoiding the consequences. Members of the committee seemed aware of the potential implications. Work remains to be done to ensure that fly-by-night insurance companies don’t use these provisions to misrepresent their policies to insureds. The bills were withdrawn and committee substitutes will be considered at a later date. You can follow the bills here: HB 1554 – https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=HB1555 HB 1555 – https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=HB1555

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Evaluating a Fire Insurance Claim

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A house fire can be devastating. In many cases, families from their homes are displaced for months while waiting for their insurance claim to be adjusted and paid, only to find that it isn’t enough to make them whole. Our attorneys have assisted hundreds of policyholders in recovering the compensation they deserve for the fire insurance claim. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing fire damage claims. Fire damage is complex. Fires can impair the structural integrity of a home requiring extensive structural repairs. Insurance companies tend not to pay for much of the damage caused by smoke and soot, which oftentimes is extensive. Getting Legal Help is the First Step If your property has been damaged by a fire, you may not have been properly compensated for your loss. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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