Have you ever actually sat down and read your property insurance policy? Do you know what it covers? Do you understand what is defined as a “covered peril”? Do you understand your duties in the event of a loss? What is co-insurance? What is your deductible? How are they applied? What is ACV (actual cash value)? What is RCV (replacement cost value)? Which one applies? Do you have basic coverage or special coverage?
Even the most astute business person has difficulty deciphering insurance policies for commercial property insurance. Instead, we rely on our insurance agents and brokers to find the right coverage and to explain the policy to us.
Texas cases have found various duties owed by property insurance agents and brokers over the years. This is an area of the law that is frequently in flux but a few of the duties Texas courts have found over the years include:
Duty to procure: Once an agent undertakes to get insurance he must use efforts to do so.
Duty to inform an insured or policyholder: The agent or broker must understand and explain the terms and conditions of the property insurance policy to the insured. In addition, the agent or broker must notify an insured if he is unable to procure coverage or if a policy lapses or is canceled.
Duty to review policy. The agent or broker needs to review the insurance policy and make sure it comports with the coverage requested by the insured.
Most insurance agents have errors and omissions policies that will cover a loss in the event the agent is negligent. If your property insurance coverage wasn’t what you requested or wasn’t what you were told it would be you may have a claim against your agent or broker. Contact Hoch Law Firm, PC to find out.