Can I sue an insurance company for failure to pay on a stolen car claim?

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Can I sue an insurance company for failure to pay on a stolen car claim?

My $50,000 car was stolen but only insured for $35,000. Now the insurance comapny is claiming that I had my own car stolen with no proof whatsoever. They are refusing to pay.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Insurance Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may absolutely sue them. An insurance policy is a contract; if an insurer will not honor its obligations under the policy, you may sue for  breach of contract to force them to pay what they should. If they can show that you did orchastrate the theft of your own car, that would be a defense to liability for them, since that would constitute both a breach of the policy on your part and also fraud. However, if this was not the case and you are confident that there is no evidence that you had it stolen, you could sue--and there  are attorneys who specialize in suing insurers, who could help you--in order to force the insurer to pay, at least up to the policy limit ($35,000, from what you write).


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