Could Change be Coming to Hailstorm Claim Litigation in Texas?
Numerous lawmakers in Texas have voiced their concerns over how hailstorm insurance claims have been handled in recent years. As a result, 2015 seems to be their year to make some changes. Lawmakers are seeking to adjust how these claims are being resolved by reducing unnecessary court action and expenses.
While hailstorms do not typically bring as much heated litigation or complications as hurricanes do-such as the insurance battles involved with Hurricane Ike-they are still gaining some attention from lawmakers. Why? More and more are being taking to court, with one recent storm resulting in 40% of all claims being handled through litigation. This litigation ended up doubling the cost of the storm, making it a serious note of concern for lawmakers throughout
the state of Texas.
Ike had similar results, resulting in a total of $2.7 billion in costs compared to the baseline of $1.5 billion without any litigation. This “Ike model” is what has begun to grab the attention of lawmakers. As many hailstorm damage claims are beginning to follow this model, they feel that it is time to act before costs rise even further and litigation gets even more out of control.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO LIMIT LITIGATION AND RISING COSTS?
Lawmakers believe that one key way to reduce litigation and the associated costs is to change the insurance code in this area. Though currently no bill for hailstorm damage has been filed, the industry and lawmakers anticipate that one will be coming soon.
Some of the potential resolutions include the following actions:
Placing stricter timelines on filing claims
Create a model process that mirrors windstorm claims
Force cases to initially engage in mediation
Overhaul the specific sections of the insurance code
While there is no official word on what action will be taken, homeowners, property owners, and insurance companies should all expect some change in 2015.
Are you dealing with a hailstorm damage claim and frustrated with your insurance’s refusal to pay? You may have a bad faith insurance claim! Call our firm to discuss your case.