What can we do if our homeowner’s insurer is grossly underpaying our claim?

We have well over $100,000 in damages according to a public adjusters estimates. They are burying us in paperwork etc and refusing to pay any further amount. What is our legal recourse?

Asked on September 1, 2015 under Insurance Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them, if you believe that they are obligated to pay more under the terms of your policy. An insurance policy is a contract, and the insurer must pay when contractually obligated if they are not paying as per the policy's plaint terms, given the facts of the situation, you can sue them for breach of contract violating their obligations and also for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing the obligation, legally "implied" to all contracts, that the parties to the contract deal with each other in good faith. To win, you'd have to prove in court that given the parameters of your coverage and the extent/cost of the damage, that they should have paid you $X but did not.


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