Flood & Water Damage Insurance Claims

Flooding in Texas can result in partial or total loss of use for a home or building structure. Houston water damage claim attorneys may assist with document preparation and policy review to ensure that processing is streamlined to avoid subsequent building destruction, depending upon the category of water damage. In addition, experienced water damage insurance claim attorneys can explain why category distinctions play a role in payment processing to cover repairs or replacements. 

Water Damage Claims in Texas

Water damage may occur through broken pipe leaks, roof leak damage, flood damage, water heater leaks, air conditioning leak damage, or drain line damage. The attorneys at MMA Law Firm have experience with water damage claims and understand how insurance companies may try to deny or de-value a legitimate claim.

When water damage occurs, it must be addressed in a timely manner to avoid complications of mold — which can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours — and prevent widespread ruin to a building structure. Water damage claims are different from flood damage claims and should be filed based on the particular policy language or additional policy riders. Filing a water damage claim under the proper insurance policy will lessen further damages to a building structure by reducing the time for claim payments and repairs to begin.

3 Classifications of Water Damage

When flood damage occurs, consider the water’s origination and pollution level. This will be relevant to how quickly the damage must be repaired to maintain property value and avoid immediate or long-term health risks. Classification of water in damage claims includes:

  • Category 1: Water from a clean source that will not cause immediate illness or ill effects. Washing machines are a frequent cause in this category (White Water)
  • Category 2: Water that may cause illness through contact due to bacteria, or other dangerous microorganisms (Gray Water)
  • Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated and can cause illness or death, such as sewage backup, overflowing toilets, or storm waters (Black Water)

Hiring a public adjuster in water damage cases often results in higher insurance claim payouts. Every day in the United States, at least 14,000 people deal with water damage, and the average water damage claim severity for southern states was 28% higher than northern states, which speaks to the impact of storms and flooding in the Texas region.

The Necessity of Flood Insurance

Homeowner’s and property insurance are considered a necessary expense, despite many policyholders never filing a claim for damages. Texas property owners purchase insurance to protect assets from unforeseen events, and many financial institutions require it as a condition of lending. The unfortunate truth is that even after paying costly premiums, insurance carriers may try their best to undervalue a claim or deny it altogether. 

Houston water damage insurance lawyers at MMA Law Firm work with policyholders and communicate detailed water damage circumstances to allow payment to be released for costly damages caused by water.

Checklist for Water and Flood Damage

A Houston water damage insurance claim attorney will collect evidence to support the validity of submitted claims on a policyholder’s behalf, utilizing a public adjuster to formally assess water damages and prepare valuations for payments owed under perils covered in an insured’s policy.

In some cases, claim approval and damage repair can take up to 18 to 24 months, negatively impacting residents of a damaged dwelling. Houston insurance lawyers advise clients on pre-emptive measures against claim processing delays that include:

  • Reviewing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies
  • Keeping important building structure documents or building plans in a secure off-site location
  • Preparing a room-by-room inventory of personal property items and furnishings (Texas residents may do this in advance of a hurricane)
  • Keeping proof of expenses paid to increase property value, such as receipts, repair invoices, and modifications/upgrade information

Replacement Valuations

Flood damage claim lawyers in Texas assist policyholders with replacement valuations to deter an insurance company from paying only the actual cash value minus depreciation of the building structure, despite expensive upgrades. Texas insurance policyholders should request a copy of a depreciation schedule from their insurance carrier.

If they recognize that items are unfairly depreciated, a water damage insurance attorney can prove that the expenses are greater to return the property to pre-damage condition. In addition, policyholders may incur other expenses due to water damage, including incidental and unexpected costs related to temporary housing and replacing personal items needed for daily living. 

What is Covered Under Flood Insurance?

Houston insurance policies are tailored to meet the needs of insureds through allowed available coverages and purchase requirements of a property owner. A policyholder and a flood damage lawyer should review unique policy language, specifically if water is an increased risk concern based on a building structure or its proximity to flooding water bodies.

Some policies will only cover damage directly related to water damage inside the structure, but others will cover water damage caused by storms and outside forces. Water damage claim attorneys guide policyholders’ actions as they file claims with the appropriate policy, addressing specific perils relevant to the type and extent of water damage covered therein.

Contact MMA Law Firm’s Flood Damage Insurance Claim Attorneys

Houston water damage claim lawyers at MMA Law Firm effectively communicate with insurance companies on behalf of Texas policyholders. They can gather formal reports from water experts, collect repair or replacement estimates for a water-damaged property, and argue denied claims and undervalued replacement or repair estimates. In addition, a flood damage claim attorney will initiate aggressive litigation utilizing Texas contract and insurance laws and report the insurance company to the Texas Department of Insurance when necessary.

Contact us today.