Following any kind of property damage, homeowners are naturally eager to start making repairs. However, this can complicate the insurance process. Indeed, before making any repairs to your home, it is important to evaluate how it might impact your claim.
The complexity arises from two competing factors. On the one hand, home insurance policies typically dictate that homeowners must mitigate damage. For example, if there is damage to a window or a roof, the home insurance company may expect you to apply a temporary covering to preventing against theft, water damage, etc.
On the other hand, homeowner’s insurance companies also want a chance to inspect your home and appraise the full extent of the damage, which is something they cannot do if you make repairs or mitigate the damage on your own.
A recent Hurricane Harvey lawsuit, Stokley vs. Allstate Texas Lloyds, addressed this issue. In the case, the insured party filed a claim, and ultimately invoked the appraisal clause. Allstate refused to agree to appraisal and argued that the insured had already made repairs to their property.
The court found that the insured had only made repairs to the fence, which was only part of the damaged property. Therefore, the Southern District of Texas ruled that the fence repairs did not negate the benefits to be gained through appraising the other damaged property.
As you consider whether repairs to your property will impede your insurance claim, it is important to remember that this is very case-specific. Some particular points to consider include:
- Whether the repairs are permanent or temporary.
- Whether the repairs are necessary to make the home habitable.
- The part of the damaged property that is being repaired.
- Whether the repaired areas can still be inspected.
If you need legal help with your insurance claim, the team at McLaurin Law Firm is here for you. Reach out to us any time for a consultation.
Will home repairs negate your insurance claim? There are some complex considerations to be made here. #insurance #propertydamage #mclaurinlaw
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.