According to the National Weather Service, severe storms in and around Brownsville, TX from August 17 to 20, 2015 caused flooding, hail, high winds, and dangerous lightening. A lightning storm map tracked over 17,000 air to ground lightning strikes in just two days. Lightning storms are prevalent in the south and, even though the storms in August were severe, even small storms can cause significant damage. It only takes one lightning strike to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Lightning strikes can cause significant damage to homes, commercial buildings, churches, and other privately owned property. Structures are damaged when lightning directly strikes the structure; however, lightning does not need to strike the building to cause damage. Damage from nearby strikes can cause electrical damage, fires, and damage from falling trees or other objects.
In many cases, insurance companies pay valid lightning claims in a timely manner according to the terms of the insurance contract. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If your property was damaged during the lightning storms and your insurance company is denying the claim or underpaying the claim, contact the Brasher Law Firm. Our law firm specializes in assisting policyholders dealing with bad faith insurance situations where an insurance company is failing to compensate the property owner for a valid insurance claim. Our attorneys will help you obtain a fair and just resolution for your lightning damage claim based on your insurance policy.
How Is Lightning Damage Treated Under My Insurance Policy?
Most property, regardless of whether it is private property or business property, is insured under one of two types of insurance policies. The first type of insurance policy is referred to as a “Named Peril” policy. In this type of policy, the perils that are covered by insurance are specifically named within the policy. Most Named Peril policies include lightning as one of the “named perils” covered by insurance. The second type of insurance policy is an “All Risk” policy. As its name implies, these types of insurance policies cover all risks not specifically excluded from the policy. Lightning damage is also typically covered under an All Risk policy.
What Should I Do If My Property Was Damaged By Lightning?
Lightning damage can cause extensive damage to your property resulting in substantial losses. Your first priority is to protect your family and others from harm by removing them from the structure, if necessary. After everyone is safe, the next steps you take will help ensure that you receive the maximum settlement possible under the terms of your insurance policy.
Review your insurance policy to determine if your policy covers any damage caused by lightning.
Document the damages to your property. Take numerous photographs of the damage from various angles, write down each item that was damaged, and obtain repair estimates from certified or bonded companies.
Notify your insurance company of the damage and loss to your property. Immediately take whatever steps are required under your insurance policy to file a claim with your insurance company. Each policy may have slightly different terms; therefore, read the policy section regarding filing claims to ensure you take all steps necessary to file a valid claim. You can also discuss filing a claim with your insurance agent.
Take actions to protect your property from any further damage. Most insurance policies require you to take steps to prevent further property damage while the claim is filed and processed.
Contact a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney to Ensure Your Lightning Damage Claim is Handled Properly
Lightning damage is generally a covered event provided you have a current insurance policy. In order to receive compensation for the repairs and loss from lightning damage, you must file a claim with your insurance company that complies with the terms and conditions of your insurance contract. If you are uncertain of the amount of damages caused by the lightning strike, contact us. We hire professional construction estimators and other experts to document the loss to your property so that we know precisely the amount and extent of the damage. Unless you know the full extent and amount of damage to your property, you will not realize your insurance company is underpaying your claim.
If you have obtained several written estimates for repairing the damage but the insurance company settlement is less than the cost to fix the damage, you should contact our office. Some adjusters and insurance companies routinely offer settlements that do not cover the expense to repair the damage to your home. You are not required to accept this settlement without consulting with an attorney. Our experienced Texas bad faith insurance lawyers will protect your legal rights as they help you seek justice and fair compensation.
Contact Brasher Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of you — our attorneys are ready to fight for your best interests and your right to receive a fair settlement.