How can I get my insurance company to pay my claim?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I get my insurance company to pay my claim?

A couple months ago there was fire damage to my vehicle. The police/fire department took it to the pound and my insurance company picked it up from there. I never got a chance to see my vehicle but my insurer called it a total loss. I have been cooperating with them doing 2 hour interviews where I had to drive over a hour to get there. However, now they are treating me like a criminal; they want me to go to their attorney and do another under oath interview plus want tax records for years even before I had the vehicle, phone records, my daughter’s info (even though my daughter is not on my policy). Now the loan company has me delinquent on payments because the insurance company won’t pay for the vehicle that they have in their possession. What can I do?

Asked on November 22, 2016 under Insurance Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that the insurer is violating its contractual obligation to pay--that is, its contractual obligation (since an insurance policy is a contract) to pay under these circumstances--you can sue them for breach of contract. In the lawsuit, you'll have to show the terms of the policy (easily done, with the policy itself), the facts of the fire, and therefore that under the policy, they should have paid. They in turn can present any defenses they have such as--for example--their evident belief that this was insurance fraud (since insurers do not need to pay if their insured caused the fire, lied on the application, or lied in the claim). The court will then decide who is right and who is wrong, and whether (and how much) you should be paid.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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