Omar Ochoa Law Firm

Can a Closed Homeowners Insurance Claim Be Reopened in Texas?


April 9, 2024


Omar Ochoa

April 9, 2024

April 16, 2024

Dealing with the aftermath of property damage in Texas can be stressful, and dealing with insurance claims adds another layer of complexity.

After filing a claim with your homeowners' insurance company, you may believe the matter is settled. However, unforeseen circumstances can sometimes arise that make it necessary to revisit your claim.

This guide, brought to you by the trusted Texas property damage lawyer at Omar Ochoa Law Firm, explores the possibility of reopening a closed homeowners’ insurance claim in the state.

Reasons Homeowners’ Insurance Claims May Be Closed in Texas

Before exploring your options for reopening a homeowners’ insurance claim, it’s helpful to understand why these claims may be closed in the first place. Here are some common reasons:

  • Claim Resolution: The insurance company may have deemed the claim resolved after fulfilling its obligations, such as paying out a settlement or arranging repairs.
  • Lack of Evidence: If you haven't provided sufficient documentation or proof of loss, your insurer might close your claim due to insufficient information.
  • Policy Exclusions: The specific details of your homeowners' insurance policy might exclude coverage for the type of damage you experienced.
  • Denial of Coverage: Your insurer might deny coverage if they decide that the damage falls outside the scope of your policy or believe you violated the policy terms.
  • Inactivity: If you fail to respond promptly to requests for information or inquiries from your insurance company, it may close your claim due to inactivity.

It's important to note that receiving a denial or having your claim closed doesn't necessarily mean the end of the process. As you’ll see in the next section, there are situations where reopening a closed insurance claim might be possible.

When Can You Reopen a Closed Homeowners’ Insurance Claim?

Can a closed insurance claim be reopened in Texas? The short answer is yes. While doing so isn't always straightforward, it may be an option under the following circumstances.

Emergence of New Evidence

If crucial information, such as receipts, witness statements, or video footage, surfaces after the claim's closure, it could significantly impact your case. Presenting this new evidence can encourage the insurer to re-evaluate your claim.

Undiscovered Damages

Sometimes, the full extent of the damage isn't immediately apparent, especially with hidden issues like mold or structural problems. If you discover new signs of previously unexamined damage, it can be grounds for reopening your claim.

Incomplete Repairs

If the initial repairs authorized by the insurance company were inadequate or incomplete and have led to ongoing issues or new damage, you might be able to resume your claim to address these additional problems.

Mistakes on the Insurer’s Part

If your insurer closed the claim after making a calculation error, misinterpreting the policy terms, or overlooking key details, presenting evidence highlighting the mistake can prompt them to reopen the claim and rectify the situation.

Fraudulent Activity

In instances where fraud is discovered, either by the policyholder or the insurance company, reopening the claim becomes necessary to investigate and address the fraudulent activity. Such an investigation could lead to claim adjustments or legal action.

These are just some of the situations where reopening a claim might be feasible. Each case is unique, which is why it’s wise to consult a qualified Texas insurance lawyer if you're considering this route.

Your insurance attorney can assess the specifics of your situation and advise you on the best course of action, including handling communication with the insurance company and filing an appeal if necessary.

When Can’t a Claim Be Reopened in Texas?

When Can’t a Claim Be Reopened in Texas?

While certain scenarios may provide grounds for reopening a prematurely or unfairly closed insurance claim, there are also instances where reopening is far less likely. Here are some important considerations.

Release Forms

Resolving a claim typically involves signing a release form acknowledging that you received a final settlement. This form signifies your agreement and serves as a legally binding document. As such, reopening the related claim can be challenging unless there's evidence of fraud, mistakes, or other compelling reasons that fall under Texas law.

Lack of Compelling New Evidence

Simply wanting your insurance company to re-evaluate your claim without providing substantial new evidence isn’t enough. The new information you present must be demonstrably relevant and impactful to sway the insurer's decision.

Statute of Limitations

If the time limit for filing or revisiting a claim has expired, it's typically not possible to reopen it unless the courts recognize exceptional circumstances.

If you think you might have a solid basis for reopening an insurance claim, it's vital to contact an insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible, even if you're unsure whether you're within the accepted legal timeframe. Your lawyer can advise you on the specific details and potential exceptions applicable to your situation.

Policy Exclusions

If the reason for the closure falls within the scope of the company’s stated policy exclusions, such as specific perils that aren’t covered, it may not be possible to reopen the claim.

Are There Any Consequences for Reopening a Closed Insurance Claim?

Are There Any Consequences for Reopening a Closed Insurance Claim?

Reopening a closed insurance claim isn’t straightforward, nor is it without risks. Here are a few of the potential consequences.

Increased Scrutiny

Insurance companies may subject reopened claims to heightened scrutiny, reviewing them more closely to ensure their validity and the accuracy of the new evidence presented.

Additional Costs

Reopening a closed claim could lead to additional expenses, including legal fees to hire an attorney to assist with the process or fees associated with obtaining new evidence or documentation.

Impact on Premiums

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the reopened claim, your insurance company may raise your premiums, especially if the reopened claim indicates an increased risk of future claims.

Damage to Insurability

Repeatedly reopening claims or filing claims that are ultimately closed without payment could harm your insurability. Insurance companies may view policyholders with a history of reopened claims as higher risks, leading to difficulties in obtaining coverage or elevated premiums in the future.

Lengthened Claims Process

Reopening a closed claim can prolong the claims process, leading to delays in receiving compensation for damages. This could be particularly burdensome if you're relying on insurance proceeds to cover necessary repairs or expenses.

Resolution Disagreements

The process of reopening a closed claim could escalate into a dispute between you and your insurance company, with mediation, arbitration, or litigation required to resolve the matter. This can be time-consuming, stressful, and costly for all parties involved.

Policyholder Perception

Lastly, repeatedly reopening closed claims could affect your insurance company’s perception of you. It may create an impression of being litigious or difficult to work with, potentially straining your relationship.

Before attempting to reopen a closed insurance claim, it's important to consider these prospective consequences carefully and weigh them against the likelihood of successfully obtaining additional compensation or benefits. A qualified insurance attorney can help you assess the risks and make an informed decision.

Steps to Take to Reopen a Closed Homeowners’ Insurance Claim in Texas

Steps to Take to Reopen a Closed Homeowners’ Insurance Claim in Texas

While it isn't guaranteed that you’ll be able to reopen a closed claim, taking the following steps can increase your chances of success.

1. Gather Documentation and Evidence

  • Revisit the Original Claim File: Familiarize yourself with the details of the closed claim, including the reason for closure, communication with the insurance adjuster, and any submitted documents.
  • Collect New and Relevant Evidence: This may include receipts, repair estimates, witness statements, or any information not previously presented that strengthens your case for reopening.
  • Organize All Documentation Chronologically: Doing so will ensure that you have a clear and well-presented case when you approach your insurer.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company

  • Initiate Communication Through Official Channels: Call your insurance company's customer service line or contact your designated claims adjuster.
  • Clearly State Your Desire to Reopen the Claim: Be polite and professional as you explain why you believe the claim should be reopened; make a point of mentioning the new evidence you possess.
  • Document All Correspondence: Keep a record of the date and time of your interactions with your insurer, along with the name of the representative you spoke with.

3. Be Persistent and Professional

  • Negotiate Respectfully: Remember, your goal is to have a productive conversation and reach a resolution with the insurer.
  • Provide Additional Information If Requested: Be prepared to answer questions and present any requested documentation promptly.
  • Maintain Clear, Concise Communication: Avoid emotional outbursts — stick to the facts of your case.

4. Seek Legal Counsel

  • Complex Situations Might Benefit from Legal Guidance: If your claim involves disputes, policy ambiguities, or potential legal action, it’s highly recommended that you consult a qualified Texas property damage lawyer.
  • A Lawyer Can Help Interpret Legal Intricacies: Your attorney can advise you on your rights, assess the feasibility of reopening, and represent you in communication with the insurance company or in court if necessary.

How a Property Damage Lawyer Can Help You with a Closed Homeowners’ Insurance Claim

How a Property Damage Lawyer Can Help You with a Closed Homeowners’ Insurance Claim

While getting a closed homeowners insurance claim reopened on your own can be challenging, a qualified Texas property damage lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success. Here's how:

  • Legal Knowledge: Insurance claim denial attorneys focus on insurance law and can offer valuable insight into the regulations governing claims in Texas.
  • Case Evaluation: Your attorney can assess your claim files and evidence to identify errors or deficiencies in the process that could warrant reopening.
  • Advocacy and Negotiation: Your lawyer will advocate for you, presenting compelling arguments and evidence to persuade insurers to reconsider your closed claim.
  • Appeals Support: If an appeals hearing becomes necessary, your attorney can prepare the necessary documentation and represent you.
  • Representation in Litigation: If negotiations fail, your attorney can file a lawsuit against your insurer to seek a favorable resolution.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements: Your lawyer will ensure that you meet all legal requirements and deadlines associated with reopening your claim.
  • Maximal Recovery: Attorneys work to maximize their clients’ recovery by pursuing all available avenues for reopening and obtaining compensation.

An experienced attorney is your strongest asset when you’re trying to persuade your insurance company to take another look at a previously closed claim.

Get the Help You Need Reopening Your Claim

While reopening a closed insurance claim in Texas can be difficult, it's not out of the question under the right circumstances.

Policyholders should understand the reasons for their claim closure, the potential grounds for reopening, and the possible consequences. If this seems daunting, a Texas property damage lawyer at Omar Ochoa Law Firm can provide valuable assistance. Contact us for a free consultation to explore your options and protect your rights.

Omar Ochoa

Omar Ochoa has been nationally recognized as one of the best young trial lawyers in the country. He's represented clients in federal and state courts and arbitrations throughout the United States and internationally. He is highly experienced in a wide range of complex litigation and has handled a variety of cases. He has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for clients of all types — from individuals to mid-sized business owners to multi-national companies.

Back to Blog

Table of Contents

    Get Your Free Case Review

    Don't settle for less than you deserve - let us fight for you.
    No Recovery, No Fee. Guaranteed.
    Call us (956) 253-3121 today.

    Contact Us
    This is some text inside of a div block.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Contact Us

    Related Posts

    Insurance Litigation


    August 17, 2023


    Omar Ochoa

    Insurance Litigation


    August 18, 2023


    Omar Ochoa

    Insurance Litigation


    September 21, 2023


    Omar Ochoa