Tag Archives: Texas

Are TWIA Appraisals Ever Fair or Impartial?

TWIA (short for Texas Windstorm Insurance Association), frequently referred to as the Texas windstorm insurance carrier of last resort, just can’t seem to get this insurance claims handling thing right. A conclusion quite alarming considering that insurance claims handling is one of the primary functions of its business. At this point many are left wondering … Continue Reading

When Is a Demand for Appraisal Too Late?

I often hear from insureds that have been negotiating with their insurance company for a period of time when the insurer suddenly demands appraisal. The insureds do not want to go to appraisal and the first question is always, “Can the insurance company do that?” followed by “This claim has been going on for months, … Continue Reading

The Status of Appraisal in Texas Insurance Policies & Claims

The majority of insurance policyholders do not realize that their property insurance policy may contain an appraisal provision. Insurance companies attempt to use appraisal provisions to impose unnecessary burdens on insureds and to eliminate the insureds potential to file a lawsuit against the insurance company and its adjusters for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, … Continue Reading

An Unlucky Day? Friday, April 13, 2018, the Texas Supreme Court Issued a New Opinion in USAA Texas Lloyds v. Menchaca

On Friday, April 13, 2018, by avoiding black cats, ladders, and breaking mirrors, seven members of the Texas Supreme Court1 managed to issue a new, sixty-six page opinion in USAA Texas Lloyds Company v. Menchaca (“Menchaca II”).2 Withdrawing its April 7, 2017, opinion3 —”Menchaca I”—the court unanimously reaffirmed the five legal principles and rules announced … Continue Reading

Have You Recovered from Hurricane Harvey? Are You Ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season? Follow These Practical Tips to Guide You from One Hurricane to the Next

With Harvey still in our rear-view mirror, many Houstonians and coastal Texans are fearing what the 2018 Hurricane and storm season will bring. Many policyholders are still fighting their insurance carriers to recover on their Hurricane Harvey claims. With numerous claims being denied or underpaid—several policyholders have not moved back into their homes due to … Continue Reading

Hurricane Harvey FEMA Claims vs. Inverse Condemnation Claims: Do You Know Your Recovery Rights? (Part III)

Hurricane Harvey flooding affected Texas property owners (i) with sufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, (ii) with insufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, and (iii) without flood insurance. This three-part series discusses the differences in property ownership rights and two separate avenues to recovery.… Continue Reading

Nearly Ten Years Later, Hurricane Ike’s Stormy Winds Are Still Churning in the Texas Supreme Court — USAA Tex. Lloyds V. Menchaca

On April 7, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court in USAA Tex. Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca,1 answered several issues that had continually swirled around litigation arising out of Hurricane Ike policy disputes. Unresolved issues included among others: Whether an insured is required to obtain a breach of contract finding as a prerequisite to a recovery for … Continue Reading

Residential Property Insurance Coverage of Last Resort: Texas Fair Plan Association (TFPA) – Eligibility and Important Coverage Information

“TFPA’s mission is to efficiently provide essential residential property insurance products and services for eligible Texas policyholders when no one else will.” Purpose and Operation The Texas Fair Plan Association (TFPA) was created by the Texas Legislature to address growing concerns of obtaining residential property insurance coverage in underserved areas. TFPA was implemented in 2002 … Continue Reading

Hurricane Harvey FEMA/SBA Disaster Assistance Deadline Extended to November 24, 2017

The deadline to apply for Hurricane Harvey FEMA/SBA disaster assistance is quickly approaching. The application filing deadline for physical damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey has been extended 30 days and is now November 24, 2017. FEMA can provide up to $33,000 in assistance to qualified applicants. Those homeowners and business owners who require … Continue Reading

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Produced Tornados and Tornadic Activity Across Texas and Florida

With the devastating strength and power these hurricanes were bringing, the last thing on anyone’s mind was these hurricanes throwing additional blows to areas that seemed outside of their “cone.” However, those of us that went through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and even those watching from areas outside those directly affected) recall all the news … Continue Reading

Hurricane Harvey Conference

Merlin Law Group attorney Rene Sigman has been asked to co-chair a Hurricane Harvey Conference sponsored by Harris Martin Publishing. It will be held on October 19 at the Four Seasons in Houston. The conference features a Who’s Who of Texas insurance and class action attorneys. It features a special panel of judges with experience … Continue Reading

Super Lawyer Rene Sigman Joins Merlin Law Group in Texas

Rene Sigman first came to my attention in 2008 at a Hurricane Ike hearing in Galveston. I told Javier Delgado that “this lawyer has her act together.” I then watched as she headed-up Mostyn Law Firm’s litigation department, winning thousands of cases resulting from Hurricane Ike and then in New York following Superstorm Sandy. We … Continue Reading
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