Texas Insurance Law
Houston Insurance Litigation Lawyers Serving Texas
Businesses purchase insurance as a means to limit exposure to liability when unexpected, though calculably foreseeable events occur. Ensuring adequate coverage, clear contractual relationships, and quick resolutions to disputes becomes vital to any individual or business.
At Hendershot Cowart, P.C., our Houston insurance law attorneys zealously protect the rights and interests of clients in all types of business, contract, and insurance matters, including those involving policy and coverage issues, indemnification, employment, and disputes.
- Contracts: Drafting and negotiating contracts requires a wide breadth of experience in various areas of law, especially when they concern insurance-related issues in construction contracts, health care matters, oil and gas, and other specific industries or contractual relationships.
- Enforcement: When claims arise from accidents, deaths, or other catastrophes, insurance providers from which businesses purchase coverage may not always uphold the contractual obligations they owe policyholders. In these situations, compelling carriers to uphold their duties will require legal representation.
Backed by over 130 years of collective experience, our legal team provides tailored representation to clients across Texas, and utilizes extensive insight to help them explore available options – whether that means negotiations and out-of-court advocacy, or resolutions secured through arbitration / litigation.
Discuss an insurance law matter personally with an award-winning Texas lawyer. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to request an initial consultation.
Insurance Law Services: Contracts, Coverage & Dispute Resolution
From proactive counsel services to representation in litigation, arbitration, or mediation, we help policyholders and other interested parties protect their rights amid all types of insurance-related issues, including those involving:
- Contract drafting, review, and negotiations
- Policy / coverage analysis involving construction law, oil and gas, health care, commercial transportation, mergers and acquisitions, and other business transactions
- Texas Anti-Indemnity Statute
- Provisions and sufficiency of coverage
- Multiple events requiring multiple deductibles
- Policy cancellations, deductible amount disputes
- Litigation against insurance companies
- Coverage determinations (denials, delays, bad faith, etc.)
- Policy determinations through declaratory judgments
- Alleged pollution exclusion or employee / contractor exclusion
- Breach of contract, willful misconduct, or gross negligence
Multiple Occurrences & Insurance
While the facts of a case and any policy are unique, policyholders can face challenges related to insurance coverage and multiple “occurrences” that require multiple deductibles.
For example, policyholders that purchase continuous insurance coverage (“blanket policies”) may be required by providers to satisfy multiple deductibles or SIRs (self-insured retention) before accessing the benefits of any policy. This can happen in any business or industry, and especially so when businesses are service-based, property owners, or involved in construction.
Common claims that may trigger multiple deductibles can include:
- Environmental claims
- Construction defect claims
- Claims involving multiple locations
- Natural disasters
In Texas, the general rule is that insured parties have the right to choose which policy to use when responding to a single occurrence that triggers multiple policies (often the policy has the lowest deductible). While there are ways to protect policyholders from insurance companies that “stack” deductibles, avoiding multiple deductibles depends on the existence of a single occurrence - which means disputes will often arise over whether or not losses arise from one or more occurrences.
Determining if there is a single occurrence or multiple occurrences depends in part on how policies define “occurrence,” as well as a policy’s terms regarding deductibles. For example:
- Some policies may specifically note that continuous or repeat exposure to conditions which are generally the same should be deemed one occurrence;
- When occurrence is not defined in an insurance policy, Texas courts apply a cause analysis when evaluating the facts and whether they constitute one or more occurrences in terms of the events which caused the underlying liability or losses.
Should disputes arise over what is and what is not a single occurrence, policyholders can work with experienced lawyers. to protect their rights. Though insurance companies want to protect their own interests and shift some of their own risks to the insured, they should not make policyholders pay more than one deductible or SIR for losses arising from a single occurrence. Any determination otherwise could constitute a carrier’s failure to uphold obligations they owed their insured.
Indemnification & Texas Anti-Indemnity Laws
Our business / insurance litigation practice often deals with issues related to indemnity clauses; contract provisions committing one party to compensate the other for losses arising out of a contract. They are of particular importance in construction contracts, as well as in transactions ranging from asset purchases / sales to health care, commercial transit, oil and gas, and more.
In Texas, this area of law changed significantly with the passing of the Texas Anti-Indemnity Act, which enacted industry-specific restrictions on certain broad-form indemnity obligations. For those dealing with such matters, meticulous evaluations, and carefully crafted solutions – whether it be enforcing or defending against a claim – are crucial to protecting one’s rights and interests.
More about the Texas Anti-Indemnity Act.
Trust A Proven Texas Trial Team. Call (713) 909-7323
Matters related to insurance law, policy terms and coverage, indemnification, and contractual relationships are nuanced, varied, and often highly complex. In many cases, they also pose potential for significant losses and liabilities.
Amid evolving insurance laws, legislative changes, and new precedent set by the courts, our team leverages insight and experience to help a diverse clientele seek the most appropriate resolutions to their insurance-related matters, even in the most difficult and disputed cases.
If you wish to discuss an insurance law matter – be it proactive policy coverage and contract review or time-sensitive issues of disputes, denials, and bad faith dealings with carriers or contracted parties – Hendershot Cowart, P.C. is here to help. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online.