Most people have no idea what coverage they have based on their policy. Even if one reads it carefully, chances are they will not understand what they have read. Insurance policies are typically couched in technical language that serves to obfuscate rather than inform the common person. Consequently, people who get insurance rely on the agent’s knowledge and explanations regarding what the policy covers and what it exempts.
Unfortunately, agents are not always reliable. By mistake or design, an agent may provide misleading information regarding a policy that could have disastrous results for the insured. Alternatively, the agent may also withhold information about the policy that could have considerable significance for the policy holder. If these errors of commission or omission impacts on what should have been a legitimate claim in the future, this may be construed as agent negligence. According to the website of Smith Kendall, these are fraudulent practices and is actionable under the law.
Insurance agents have a duty of care towards their clients, and should take reasonable steps to ensure that prior to purchasing an insurance policy the client has clear and accurate information regarding the terms and conditions of the insurance they are getting. It is not justifiable to say that it is in the policy and that the policy holder agreed to these terms when the policy was signed. In Texas, it is possible to make a claim against the agent, or a broker, for failing to provide the insured with the coverage they wanted, needed and expected.
However, proving agent negligence is not an easy task. It would require the knowledge and expertise of lawyers fully cognizant of insurance law of the state and how insurance companies operate to have any degree of success. Fortunately, reputable insurance law firms usually work on a contingent fee basis, which means the firm only gets paid when a claim is successful. It would mean getting the most compensation legally possible compared to no compensation at all if the claim is made without competent legal representation.