Can I Sue My Own Homeowner’s Insurance?
If your homeowner’s insurance company unfairly denies your claim, or if they violate the policy terms, you can file a lawsuit against the insurer.
Keep in mind that insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible in claims. It is their business model. Your insurance company may give you several reasons regarding your claim denial, but that does not necessarily mean those reasons are legitimate. Insurers count on most homeowners simply accepting the denial, or not understanding the policy’s language. Under such circumstances, you need the assistance of an attorney to negotiate with your insurance company. Once the insurance carrier knows the customer has hired a lawyer, they are usually more willing to negotiate.
A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will review your policy and determine whether your insurance company is violating the terms, or acting in bad faith. Over the past 35 years, our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for our clients in verdicts and settlements.
Common reasons for claim denial by insurance companies include:
- Errors on application nullifying the contract
- Failure to verify damages – no submission of requested records
- Lapsed policy
- Lack of coverage
- Notification errors –some claims require notification within 24 hours
Some of these are legitimate reasons for denying a claim. Others are open to interpretation or are incorrect. A careful reading of what the policy does and does not cover can show that the denial was invalid.
Perhaps your insurance agent said you did have specific coverage provisions in your policy, only to have the claim denied as not covered. In California, that is considered misrepresentation if proved.
Fair claims settlements practices regulations
Under California’s Fair Claims Settlements Practices Regulations, property owners can bring a claim against their homeowner’s insurance carrier if the insurer acted in bad faith. These regulations state that insurance companies must communicate honestly with customers.
Examples of insurance company bad faith include:
- Deliberate misrepresentation of a policy
- Not offering an adequate settlement
- Inadequate investigation
- Refusal to defend the customer in litigation
- Denying valid claims
- Denial with no explanation
- Deliberately misinforming the claimant
- Delaying payments.
What to do
Successful lawsuits rely on evidence. Start collecting it as soon as possible, taking photos and videos of the immediate aftermath of the incident resulting in the claim.
Document any interactions you have with insurance company, including correspondence and emails. In phone conversations, note the date and time of the call and the names and titles of the people with whom you spoke. Keep in mind all of these calls are recorded.
Keep careful track of all expenses relating to this claim.
Seeking prompt legal representation is critical. Personal injury lawyers will advise their clients on what actions to take and how to avoid actions that could harm the case.
Homeowner’s Insurance Damages
Damages, or compensation, in a civil lawsuit may include more than the original claim amount. You might receive addition compensation for the effort you had to put it to fight the insurer’s bad faith denial. A court may award an amount above your policy limit.
The insurance company may end up paying fines for their actions and restitution, with interest, to you.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
If your insurance company violates the terms of the policy and refuses to pay the compensation you deserve, you need the services of the experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law. Call or text us 24/7 to arrange a free consultation, or submit our online form.
The insurance policy is a contract, and lawsuits against the insurance company is a breach of contract claim. Although the statute of limitations in California for filing a breach of contract lawsuit is four years from the date the contract was broken, it is crucial to start an investigation as soon as possible.
Bring your policy to the meeting. If you do not have a copy, contact your insurance company and they will send one to you. After reviewing the policy and evaluating the strength of your claim, we will advise you of your options. As we work on a contingency basis, there is never a fee unless you receive compensation.