When you purchased your home about 10 years ago it was the home of your dreams. Like so many other responsible homeowners, the first thing you did was purchase a home insurance policy. However, recently, the home of your dreams was damaged and needs to be repaired. When you call to notify your insurance carrier of the damage, they inform you they are not responsible and will not pay for the damage and that you will have to pay for the repairs. What do they mean they will not pay? What can you do about it?
Is the Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith?
Tips for filing a bad faith insurance claim
When insurance companies like yours unreasonably refuse to pay for covered damage to your home, that means they are operating in what the law refers to as "bad faith." This happens when your insurance company refuses to fairly and objectively examine, process and pay your claim. The exact law varies in every state. For those of you who reside in California, examples of possible bad faith conduct include:
- Your insurance company unreasonably denied coverage for the repairs
- Your insurance company offered you an unreasonably low settlement amount
- Your insurance company did not act promptly with respect to your claim
- Your insurance company only agreed to pay part of your claim, even though the entirety of the claim was covered
- Your insurance company did not properly investigate your claim
- Your insurance company's proof of loss requirements are unreasonable
- Your insurance company tried to settle your claim using coercive and abusive strategies
These are just some of the factors that should be considered when analyzing a bad faith claim. Every claim is different and depends on the type of insurance policy you have and the terms and conditions of your particular policy. If you have additional questions regarding whether your claim rises to the level of bad faith, an attorney at Pillsbury & Coleman LLP may be able to help.