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Woman takes insurer to court in dispute about storm damage

The bad weather that struck the home of a woman in Houston in April 2016 only marked the beginning of her troubles. She is now headed to court after filing a suit against her home insurance provider for alleged violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Upon investigating her claim for storm damage to her home, ACE European Group Limited declared that it would only pay for hail damage. The homeowner insists that her policy provided coverage for her roof that required replacement. The insurance company's refusal to pay her claim has prompted her to file a lawsuit in Harris County Circuit Court for breach of contract.

New rules for insurers in bad faith and breach of contract suits

There may be changes ahead in how some suits against insurance companies in Texas are handled since several rules have been established regarding contractual and extra-contractual insurance claims and the relationship between them. The five rules emerged from a case involving a woman whose house was damaged by a hurricane. When her insurer denied her compensation after two inspections on the grounds that the cost of repairs was less than her deductible, she sued for unfair settlement practices and breach of contract.

The woman was awarded more than $11,000 in damages, and an appeals court upheld the decision. However, a higher court argued that that in general, a person could only get policy benefits as damages for statutory violations if the policy allowed those rights although the person can recover those benefits under certain limited circumstances.

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