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Was your property damaged by the recent winter storm? If so, it is advisable to review your policy and claim with an experienced attorney. Your insurance policy contains specific requirements and duties you must follow after sustaining a loss. Failure to comply with these requirements and duties may jeopardize prompt and full payment of your claim.
The attorneys at Grisham & Kendall, PLLC have represented homeowners and commercial property owners for more than 20 years. We offer a free review of your policy and claim and are happy to discuss the issues that may apply to your individual claim relating to damages from frozen/burst pipes and sprinkler systems from this year’s Winter Storm. If you would like our attorneys to review your insurance policy at no cost and with no obligation, please call Grisham & Kendall, PLLC at (214) 308-2027 to schedule a call or contact us using the form.
Following Texas’ weeklong freeze and power outages, with potential damage projections of $195 billion on the low end to as much as 295 billion, which would rival some of the most severe hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S. in total damages, Texas insurers are anticipating a surge of winter storm claims.
The sustained deep freeze which occurred throughout Texas resulted in frozen plumbing pipes in many homes, causing cracks to form. When these pipes began to thaw, widespread leaks may have occurred, resulting in severe damage to the entire structure as well as the contents inside. This year’s Winter Storm in Texas also caused extensive ice and water damage to commercial buildings, including to hotels, multi-family properties, office buildings, warehouses, restaurants, strip malls, etc. from frozen pipes and frozen sprinkler systems. Commercial property insureds who sustain widespread water damage from frozen plumbing and sprinkler systems not only must address and repair the damages to the structure and contents, they must also often withstand the negative economic impact to their business.
Frozen ice and snow can also cause significant damage to a home or commercial building’s exterior façade, including to the roof. Severe freezes experienced throughout Texas can lead to extensive interior water damage resulting from interior leaks following the thawing of ice within the exterior components to a home or commercial structure. As always, homeowners and business owners must understand not only the coverage provided by the policy, but also what the insured’s duties are pursuant to the policy.
Most homeowners and commercial insurance policies do cover damages caused by ice or frozen and burst pipes or frozen and burst sprinkler systems. But there are potential pitfalls and exclusions that may apply in both residential and commercial claims. In residential claims, some Texas policies may impose a time requirement to report the loss. Likewise, in some commercial policies in Texas, the policy may impose a requirement that power to the building be maintained. It is important, of course, that you review your specific policy if you haven’t already.
When your home is damaged by freezing pipes, it is important to have an insurance company that takes your situation seriously and provides the necessary coverage for repairs. Unfortunately, many people are unfairly denied their claims or underpaid on claims, leading to unexpected financial strain. If your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim, a Dallas insurance attorney of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, may be able to help you get the payment you need. To speak with an attorney today, contact us at (214) 308-2027.
Pipes can freeze very quickly, which is especially dangerous for homes that are in places where freezing weather is less common, making the pipes less likely to be insulated properly. While pipes are unlikely to freeze when they are in heated areas, other pipes are particularly vulnerable to freezing, including:
It only takes an eighth of an inch crack in a frozen pipe to spill over 200 gallons of water in a single day. Thus, damage can be particularly disastrous if the pipe bursts inside the home and causes flooding in an attic, basement, or in the walls.
While your home or business claim for water damages due to frozen pipes may be covered under your policy, it is still crucial that you understand what the insurance company adjusters, consultants, and experts are doing and what they are telling you needs to be done as a result of the covered water damages. Most individuals and business owners simply don’t have the expertise, experience or desire to evaluate insurance policy provisions and conditions and fact check the findings of the insurance company’s paid investigators and experts. To avoid unnecessary delays, denials or underpayments by the insurance company, be sure that you understand the process and/or retain the necessary professionals to assist you during the claims process, or litigation if necessary.
Severe winter weather, including blizzards and freezing rain, causes significant property damage to homes and commercial properties throughout much of the United States, even as far South as Texas. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise between insurance carriers and their policyholders concerning what an insurance policy covers and what is excluded.
While you should always review your insurance policy to determine your specific coverage, some of the below areas of damages are often covered by residential or commercial property insurance policies:
Damage caused by tree limbs that fall due to weight of ice or snow on a house or commercial property.
Damage to insured’s home and personal property caused by weight of snow or ice that causes collapse of structure.
Burst pipes caused by freezing conditions, which can lead to extensive water damage to the home or commercial building as well as the contents inside the structure.
Wind-related damage to an insured building, including the roof, and its contents. This often includes wind-driven snow or freezing rain that gets into a home or commercial property due to an opening created by the wind.
Winter weather can lead to costly property damage, but your insurance company should be ready and able to accept your claim if it’s covered by your policy. Unfortunately, insurers often take their time reimbursing policyholders and sometimes even outright refuse to pay on perfectly valid claims. If you have found yourself in a dispute with your insurer, the Dallas insurance bad faith attorneys of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, may be able to help you.
At Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, we have worked with insureds in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Colorado who have experienced ice and/or snow damage to their property. Coverage for these types of losses varies significantly from policy to policy. It is important you understand the coverage afforded by your homeowners or commercial policy. If your claim has been delayed, underpaid or denied, we will aggressively pursue your contractual rights until you receive what you are owed under the insurance policy.
Newer homes often come with the benefit of energy efficiency that older homes lack. In order to do this, homes are built in such a way that allows for insulation to keep the home from getting too hot or too cold based on the outer environment. The drawback, however, has been an unexpected increase in exterior damage to roofs when snow and ice accumulate. In the past, overly hot roofs were able to quickly melt any snow or frozen water which accumulated on the roof. However, cooler roofs mean less melting, which results in prolonged exposure to the moisture of ice and snow remaining on the roof. Unfortunately, this damage can be costly, and individuals must rely on their homeowner’s insurance to be there for them to cover repairs.
If your home has exterior damage from moisture and your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim, a Dallas insurance attorney may be able to help you obtain the money you need. To speak with a skilled attorney today, contact the firm of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, today at (214) 308-2027.
Water from snow and ice can remain on roofs for several weeks, slowly causing damage by dripping down into the home. Some of the ways snow and ice can cause damage include:
These problems can be very expensive to repair, especially if left unaddressed for a prolonged period of time.
If your insurance company has failed to provide adequate compensation on your snow or ice damage claim, you may wish to take legal action to get the monetary assistance you need. To speak with a reliable ice and snow damage attorney, contact Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, today at (214) 308-2027.