Can I sue my home insurance company for bad faith?

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Can I sue my home insurance company for bad faith?

California had a huge storm and an extremely large branch fell off my tree
leaving the tree ‘unbalanced’ as one tree company indicated. The large branch
that fell took a large part of fence down.

My homeowners insurance informed me they are not going to pay to have the tree
taken down because it is still standing and the policy does not pay for it,
however tree company said the tree needs to come down because it is unbalanced
and not safe.

Asked on January 29, 2017 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

What does your policy say? An insurance policy is a contract. The insurer must pay whenever (and how much) the policy says they must; but it does not have to pay any other amounts or any other times, no matter how urgent or necessary. If you believe that under the terms of the policy, they must pay for tree removal, you could sue them for breach of contract for not doing so. But if the plain terms of the policy do not require removal, they do not have to pay to remove it.


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