What todo regarding a bad faith claim against my insurer?

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What todo regarding a bad faith claim against my insurer?

My rental property sustained water damage from pipe that burst in the hot water line in cavity of garage wall which adjoins my kitchen. This happened about 3 1/2 months ago and they still trying to deny my claim and have only paid partial to my water damages. I have over 60k in damages and they only have agreed to cover 12k. I need an attorney who will take my case on contingency basis. I have talked to few and they all say because my claim is less than 100k they will not do it. Should I cut my losses and walk away and let the insurance company get away doing this to me?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Why would you walk away from up to $48,000? Even if a lawyer will not take your case, nothing stops you from filing the case yourself, as your own attorney or "pro se." If you believe that under the terms of your policy, your insurer should pay more, sue them for "breach of contract" (for violating their contractual obligation--an insurance policy is a contract--to pay in these circumstances) and also "breach of the implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing" (violating the law-imposed obligation to not intentionally or purposefully act in a way that denies the other party the benedfit of the contract/policy). You can download the court rules online; you can get instructions and likely sample forms from your county court, either from their website or at the clerk's office. It will be an effort, certainly, for a layperson to sue for $48k--but for that much money, the effort is worthwhile.


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