In Insurance Bad Faith Litigation, the representation of California policyholders involved in a homeowner insurance dispute due to insurance bad faith involves understanding that what is at stake is an insured’s most vital asset – his or her home.

By the time a homeowner insured/potential client contacts a bad faith lawyer because of insurance company misconduct, the individual usually has already been traumatized.  In a homeowner insurance dispute, the insured’s insurance claim may have been denied, or repair estimates undervalued and underpaid, and the insured may not be able to live in the home.  This may include the uprooting of family members, as well.

Addressing the Problems
In A Homeowner Insurance Dispute

This is a very difficult time, and it takes experience to properly and promptly address the immediate problems presented in these unique homeowner insurance dispute claims.  This includes:

  • Analyzing and determining the extent of property loss, and the monetary value of damage to the home, personal property, etc.
  • Addressing any emergency repairs or remediation work that must be undertaken to preclude further damage.
  • Ascertaining whether there is consequential or related loss because of insurance carrier misconduct.  For example, insurance carrier delays after a fire loss, particularly when water is used to extinguish the fire, may result in consequential loss such as mold when the insurance carrier ignores the need for water extraction and dry out.
  • Impressing upon the insured/potential client the need for preparing damage and loss itemizations, including damage to the home, loss of personal property, any lost rents, etc.
  • Making sure that if the insured is receiving dunning letters from the mortgage company/lien holder, that attempts at negotiating a compromise mortgage payment plan immediately be made, if at all possible.  Often, it is difficult for homeowners involved in an insurance dispute to continue making their mortgage payments when: (a) their homeowner insurance claim has been denied or underpaid; (b) they cannot live in their home; (c) repairs cannot be commenced due to insurance claim denial or underpayment; and (d) the homeowner must pay for alternative living arrangements.
  • Knowing well qualified and reputable contractor experts, if repair and restoration scopes and estimates must be prepared, based on a thorough investigation and inspection of the damaged home.

What Constitutes Insurance Bad Faith?

In a homeowner insurance dispute case, the areas that may constitute insurance bad faith on the part of your insurance company may include but is not limited to:

  • Refusing, Denying Or Disputing Your Claim
  • Giving You The “Run-Around”
  • Creating Undue Delays
  • Replacing (Or Assigning Multiple) Adjusters In The Middle Of An Insurance Claim
  • Setting Impossible Conditions Such As Requesting Itemized Receipts For All Items
  • Sending You Letters That Are Factually Inaccurate
  • Underpaying Your Claim

Protect Yourself

If you own a home, you undoubtedly have homeowners insurance.  Review your homeowner insurance policy; make sure you have adequate insurance to protect and rebuild your home.  You must also take steps to protect yourself before you suffer a loss.  Take pictures of each of your rooms, and make an inventory of your personal property.  If you suffer a loss later, this will help you immensely.

Your homeowner insurance policy describes the obligations of the policyholder and the insurance company, and is modified or supplemented by California statutes, case law holdings and regulations. The insurance policy and California Law and Regulations entitle you to all of the legal benefits of that contract and more.

Depending on your coverage, under California law, as a policyholder you are not only entitled to the benefits outlined in your homeowner insurance policy but you may be entitled to all damages caused by the unreasonable misconduct of your insurance carrier. Your damages also may include attorneys’ fees and punitive damages if the insurance company’s conduct is shown to be a pattern and practice of unfair claims handling in conscious disregard for your rights as a policyholder.

Viau & Kwasniewski

If you are in dispute with your insurance company, which is unreasonably denying, underpaying or delaying your California homeowner insurance claim (acting in “bad faith“), our insurance bad faith lawyers can help.
Viau and Kwasniewski represent California homeowner policyholders who have been victimized by insurance company abuse.  Viau and Kwasniewski fight insurance company abuse on policies including liability issues, property damage, fire, theft, and flood and water damage. They have worked on and understand both sides of bad faith litigation and have handled hundreds of insurance cases involving many of the major insurance carriers doing business in California.

In most cases our bad faith lawyers work on a Contingency Fee basis and are paid only if they obtain a recovery for you. For a free, no risk consultation CONTACT the law firm of Viau & Kwasniewski or call
(213) 842-8164
or complete our online Contact Us Form.

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