Boat Insurance Claim Settlement

I have an insured boat that was struck by lightning in August of 2016. It was turned into the insurance company. This claim is still not settled as of June of 2017. Part of the electronics for the radar are damaged, and the insurance company had them sent to an independent company for analysis. This company stated that the part needed is no longer available due to age of the radar and they recommend replacing the entire radar system. The insurance company is demanding they try to find a used part. My question is, this has been going on for 10 months now. Is there anything legally I can do to get this settlement claim completed? Are insurance companies Progressive allowed to take so long? I am losing money on a boat slip and don’t have the use of my boat.

Asked on June 6, 2017 under Insurance Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse--and it's somewhat drastic, but it's your only effective recourse--would be to sue your insurer for "breach of contract": for violating their contractual obligations (the insurance policy is a contract) to pay out your claim. In the lawsuit--if it goes to trial; that is, if it does not settle out earlier--you would have to show that you and anyone else they needed information from had provided what the insurer needed in order to move forward, and therefore their failure to resolve the claim was unreasonable and unjustifiable, and also  that the insurer is acting in bad faith. If you have to sue, in addition to seeking the actual amount of the claim (e.g. the replacement cost of the radar, etc.), look also to recover the rental fees on the boat for the period of time you cannot use it due to the insurer's unnecessary delay.


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