What can I do if auto insurer is refusing to pay over $4000 of storage fees that it stated in writing it would pay?

Also, it took over 7 months to settle the claim which cost me over $2000 in interest and high storage fees, as well as causing me severe ulcers due to stress. Can I sue for these monies?

Asked on November 24, 2015 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have something unequivocal in writing from the insurer that it would pay those fees, you can almost certainly enforce that agreement, such as with a breach of contract lawsuit. Even without a written agreement, IF 1) the delay was due to the insurer dragging its feet (i.e. it was the insurer's fault--not your fault, not a repair shop's fault, etc.) and 2) the car had to be stored and you had it at a reasonable (i.e. not overly expensive) place for storage, you could likely recover the money from the insurer. Of course, in either situation above, to recover the money if they won't pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue, so have to factor the cost, time, and emotional toll/stress of doing so into whether it is worthwhile.
You cannot recover for your stress or ulcers--in a case like this, you can potentially, as discussed above, recover the actual storage costs, but not for its impact on you.


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