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Renters Insurance Claims in Texas

Filing renters insurance claims in Texas typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consult with your renters insurance provider for information regarding the documentation needed to file a claim. This documentation will usually include receipts and pictures showing damages and the repairs and replacements made to fix the damages properties

  2. Compile the needed documentation and submit it to your renters insurance provider for examination and consideration

  3. After examinations and considerations are made, your renters insurance provider will either approve, decline, or modify the value of your stated claims

How Do I File a Claim for Renters Insurance?

Filing a claim for renters insurance in Texas involves contacting your insurer and providing them with a well-documented list of damages done to your rental and personal property, a police report, an accurate value of the damages, and proof of value. After filing your claim, your insurer will examine your request and accept, reject or amend your claims.

Is a Claim a Bill in Renters Insurance?

Depending on the nature of the claims, your bill can serve as a claim in renters insurance. For example, if your renters insurance includes a loss of use coverage, your hotel bills or other similar bills will be your claims. On the other hand, your claims can be an accurate estimate of the replacement cost after a covered event.

How Long Do I Have to File a Renters Insurance Claim in Texas?

Typically, your renters insurance policy document will contain all information, including the timeline to report the occurrence of covered perils at your rental property. However, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) advises Texans holding a valid renters insurance policy to report an incident and file a claim immediately after the occurrence of a covered peril.

What Happens after I File a Claim with my Renters Insurance Company in Texas?

Once you have filed a claim with your renters insurance provider, it will acknowledge receipt of your request within 15 days. The insurer is also obligated to settle your claims in 35 days. Hence, once your application is received, your insurer will review your claim and decide whether to reject, approve or modify it. Make sure to work with a Texas-licensed and knowledgeable property insurance agent whenever there is a need to file claims with your insurer. An agent is more familiar with the process and may use their relationship with your insurer to get a quick payout.

How Do Renters Insurance Companies Pay Out Claims in Texas?

Renters insurance companies must assess your claims before paying out claims. Once you reach an agreement with your insurer on a claim, you will receive the payment via a check based on agreed coverage limits. The payout will be the cost of repairs minus the deductible. For example, if the renters insurance deductible paid by the renter is $300, and the loss is valued at $1,000 the payout by the insurance company will be $700.

Can a Renters Insurance Company Refuse to Pay a Claim?

Yes, a renters insurance company can turn down your claims for several reasons. These include:

  1. If your insurance provider suspects that the circumstances leading to the occurrence of the peril are fraudulent

  2. If the value of your claims seems over-bloated

  3. If you do not have coverage for the peril that necessitated your claims

  4. If your policy has elapsed because of defaulting on premium payments

In Texas, renters insurance providers often consult with policyholders during the claims evaluation phase. Hence, you will receive clarification requests before your claims are turned down.

Why Do Renters Insurance Companies Deny Insurance Claims?

Your Renters insurance provider can deny claims if they suspect any form of deception, especially in the nature of the perils that damaged your rental apartment or home and personal property. They can also turn down your claims if your claims valuations are overinflated. Also, if you lose your renters coverage due to failure to pay your premiums, you will be turned down if you file a claim on an event that occurred when you were without renters coverage. Additionally, if your claims include damages caused by perils not covered by your insurance policy, your insurer will deny them.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Pay Out?

Most renters insurance providers in Texas offer three main coverage options:

  1. Personal property coverage - Renters insurance protects renters personal properties ensuring that in case of perils, the insured will be covered from financial losses in the process of replacing personal belongings. Pet owners can also obtain pet insurance under a renters insurance policy as pets are a personal effect of the owner.

  2. Loss of use coverage - This is effectively an additional living expense coverage to protect you from financial losses you might incur if your property is being repaired or renovated.

  3. Personal liability coverage - to pay for medical expenses of persons that sustained injuries on your rental property. Paying for medical bills out of pocket can be very expensive, thus this is a very important coverage offered to holders of renters insurance policies in Texas. This coverage also covers the costs of legal fees for court proceedings arising from litigation based on unexpected events that occurred on your rental property.

Hence, renters insurance ensures covered losses receive payouts based on the agreed coverage when it was purchased. For example, if your rental apartment is due for repairs and you have to stay in a hotel temporarily, your renter insurer will pay just enough to cover your bills for that period.

Two valuation models determine the amount paid out for personal property coverage:

  • Replacement value

  • Actual cash value/depreciated value

The Replacement value is the amount it would cost to replace your personal belongings at the time of filing a claim or the current market value. On the other hand, the actual cash value/ depreciated value refers to the value of your property belongings less depreciation. Hence, the valuation model used in assessing the properties will determine the amount your renter insurer will payout for the loss of your personal belongings.

What if my Insurance isn’t Paying Enough for my Claim?

Before claims payments are made towards your renters insurance coverage in Texas, your insurer will consult with you. Hence, before you agree to an amount toward final claims payouts, ensure that the amount is sufficient to pay for the required repairs and replacements. If you know that the proposed pay-out amount will not be enough to cover the cost of repairs or replacements, reject it and register your displeasure with your insurer.

How Long Can a Renters Insurance Company Investigate a Claim in Texas?

Renters insurance providers must investigate claims within 15 days and payout within 35 days.

How Can I Check the Status of my Renters Insurance Claim?

Renters insurance providers usually provide an accessible means for policyholders to check the status of filed claims. You can check via a dedicated phone line, website, or mobile app. Alternatively, you can speak to your Texas-licensed property insurance agent to confirm the status of your filed claims.

Do I Need to Tell Renters Insurance Company if I am Staying in a Hotel Due to Renovations at my Rental Apartment?

Yes, loss of use coverage is one of the three primary coverages that renters insurance providers offer in Texas. Apartment insurance will ensure that when renovations are ongoing at your rental unit, you should inform your insurance provider and get your loss of use coverage into force.

When not to File a Renters Insurance Claim

Avoid filing a renters insurance claim in the following situations:

  • If your personal property is worth as much as your deductible, do not file a claim, especially if the replacement costs are negligible. Renters insurance premiums rise after every claim. Hence, you should avoid filing claims for a damaged property with insignificant replacement costs.

  • If you filed a claim recently, you should avoid filing any soon especially if the costs are negligible. Insurance providers consider persons who file claims frequently as high-risk individuals.

  • If the peril that caused the damages is not included in your insurance policy.