Following Winter Storm Uri, many Houston-area homes have been damaged by burst pipes, and even by issues like sewer backup resulting from long power outages at treatment facilities. If your property has been damaged—although legal issues may be low on your list of priorities right now—there are some important things to keep in mind for insurance claims:
- Report your claim as soon as possible.
- Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully. It likely contains conditions about giving prompt notice of damage, and how and to whom you must give notice. Insurance companies will use any failure to comply with those conditions to deny your claim. If you have already missed deadlines, you should still make an effort to comply—“substantial” (but not precise) compliance is often enough to protect your rights.
- Document all damage. Take pictures of the damage and surrounding areas, fixtures, and keep copies of any repair quotes or receipts.
- Save and bag all damaged materials.
- Do not give into pressure from your insurance company to accept a quick settlement before fully evaluating your damage.
- If your insurance company denies your claim, don’t just take their word for it. After crises like this one, insurers often start to issue bad faith, blanket denials of coverage—it happened after Hurricane Harvey, too. Your property damage may be covered even if your insurer says otherwise.
Finally, if you feel that your insurer has denied your claim in bad faith or is undervaluing your property damage, or if you simply want assistance navigating this process, please reach out to us. Whether you’re dealing with damage to your home, pool, business, or any other property, we’ll be happy to help.
Below are some additional resources that can help guide you through the immediate aftermath of a pipe burst and with filing insurance claims:
- How to Minimize Frozen Pipe Damage (NBC)
- More Tips on Pipe Burst Claims (Houston Chronicle)
- General Claims-Filing Tips (Office of Public Insurance Counsel)
- Texas-Specific Claims-Filing Information (Texas Department of Insurance)