In California a Prerequisite to Receiving Insurance Benefits Under a Homeowner’s policy is to Submit to an Examination Under Oath

Your Homeowner’s policy requires that you submit upon demand by your insurance company a statement under oath. A policyholder that fails to submit to a statement under oath breaches the insurance policy. Failing to answer material questions during the statement may also be considered a breach of the insurance policy. Your policy contains a cooperation clause, refusing to provide a statement under oath and or refusing to answer material questions could be considered a violation of the cooperation clause. Unless there is a reasonable excuse for not providing a statement or answering material questions your claim maybe denied for failing to cooperate.

If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your insurance claim call today for a free consultation with a partner. No Recovery. No Fee.

California Law Requires Your Insurance Company to Provide Notice of Cancellation of Your Auto Policy.

Under California Law cancellation of auto policies require 20 days written notice to the named insured, lienholder, or additional interests; except 10 days notice is sufficient for nonpayment of premiums with notice so stating. If the 10 days notice is mailed prior to the default then the notice is ineffective.

A notice of cancellation does not have to state the amount that is owed; an error in the amount owed does not render the notice ineffective. The insurance company must state the specific reason in the notice for cancellation.

On the other hand if there is a timely offer to renew a policy and the policy is not renewed at the end of the term and the notice warns that a failure to renew terminates coverage at the end of the policy period there is no coverage after the expiration.

If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your insurance claim call today to speak to a partner for a free consultation. No recovery. No fee.

Primary Difference between an Insurance Agent and Brokers in California

The basic distinction between insurance agents and brokers is that agents usually act on behalf of the policyholder. The insurance broker is the middleman between the policyholder and the insurance company. An insurance agent is authorized by the insurance company to act on its behalf to transact all classes of insurance other than life, disability, or health insurance. An insurance agent has the authority to bind the insurance company on coverage, compared to a broker that does not have authority to bind the insurance company.

Insurance Companies may give its agent authority to collect premiums and forward them to the carrier. Provisions of the insurance policy may provide that notice of claims be provided to the insurance agent. Sometimes agents have the authority to adjust claims.

In California in order to act as an insurance agent you must be licensed by the insurance commissioner. This includes persons employed by the insurance agent to assist in servicing policyholders. Insurance brokers are a person for compensation and on behalf of the policyholder transacts insurance other than life, disability, or health insurance. The brokers function is to negotiate with the insurance companies on rates, premiums and terms of coverage. The broker only acts on behalf of the policyholder, not the insurance company.

If your insurance agent or broker failed to obtain the insurance that you requested call today to speak with a partner for your free consultation. No recovery. No fee.

Under California Law a Policyholder can Recover Emotional Damage Against an Insurance Company for Wrongfully Withholding Insurance Benefits

When your insurance company breaches the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing you may recover for mental distress only as long as the distress was caused by the insurance company’s delay or withholding insurance benefits. There must be a financial loss caused by your insurance company’s handling of your claim that gives rise to additional damages for emotional distress.

The essence of the policyholder’s emotional distress is the anxiety arising from the financial deprivation caused by the delay or nonpayment of the claim. Policyholders need to make a showing that there has been some financial loss in order to recover emotional distress damages.

If your insurance company has wrongfully withheld your insurance benefits call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

California Law Policyholders are Legally Entitled to Seek Punitive Damages

There is no question that under California law, plaintiffs in insurance bad faith cases are legally entitled to seek punitive damages. “The availability of punitive damages allegations [in a bad faith case] is thus compatible with recognition of insurers’ underlying public obligations and reflects an attempt to restore balance in the contractual relationship.” 20th Century Ins. Co. v. Superior Court, (2001) 90 Cal. App. 4th 1247, 1265-1266, Citing Egan v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., supra, 820.

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant, to make an example and to thereby deter others from similar conduct. (Neal v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1978) 21 Cal. 3d 910, 928.

Punitive damages are appropriate whenever an insurer’s conduct in the handling of Plaintiff’s claim exhibits malice, oppression or fraud.

If your insurance company has wrongfully withheld insurance benefits that you are entitled to call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

California Law Requires Your Insurance Company to Provide Notice of Any Changes to Your Renewal Policy

The renewal of a policy is in effect a new contract between your insurance company and the policyholder on the same terms and conditions as the original policy. Your insurance company decides to change the terms in the renewal policy it must give notice of the changes prior to the policy coming into effect. If your policy is renewed without notice of a change in its terms, the policyholder is entitled to presume that the renewal policy is the same as the original.

The notice provided by your insurance company must clearly state the changes in coverage in the renewal policy. The changes identified in the notice must be conspicuous to the reader and stated in language that is plain and clear.

If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim based on a renewal policy call today for a free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

In California You Must Have an Insurable Interest in the Property Insured to Recovery on Your Claim

In order to recover on an insurance policy you must have insurable interests in the property insured. The policyholder must have an interest in the property insured when the insurance takes effect and when the loss occurs.

After the loss a change in interest in property insured, after the occurrence of an injury which results in a loss, does not affect the right of the policyholder to recovery under the insurance policy for the loss.

If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

Under California Law Your Insurance Company Has Duty to Defend You If Your Business Has Been Served With a Lawsuit If There Is a Potential For Coverage

Commercial General Liability policy is often referred to as a business general liability policy that provides liability insurance for businesses.

Your Commercial General Liability policy has two essential parts: the insuring agreement that identifies the risks that are covered, and the exclusion portion that excludes coverage for risks that are not covered by the policy.

When you are sued by someone as a result of your business activity if there is a potential for coverage under your Commercial General Liability policy your insurance company is obligated to provide a defense for you.

The duty to defend has always been interpreted broadly in determining whether or not your insurance company has to provide a defense to a lawsuit. The policyholder must prove the existence of a potential for coverage, while your insurance company must establish the absence of any such potential coverage.

If the insurance company has denied your claim for a defense to a lawsuit call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

In California the Ultimate Test for Bad Faith is Withholding Benefits Without Proper Cause.

The ultimate test for bad faith is when your insurance company withholds insurance benefits that are due and owing without proper cause. Unreasonable conduct can include unreasonable delay in paying insurance benefits based on an inadequate or tardy investigation, paying less than is due, out right denial of the claim when there is coverage.

If your claim has been wrongfully denied call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

California Statute Limitations on Bad Faith Claim is Controlled by Policy Provision

In California the statute of limitations when suing your insurance company for policy benefits is the time specified in the policy. Most fire insurance policies provide for a one year statute of limitation. Suit must be filed within one year from the loss. The time to file is extended during the time your insurance company is investigating your claim.
Once the claim is denied you have 12 months from the date of denial to file a claim.

Your insurance company may be estopped to assert the statute of limitations contained in the policy where there have been representations that the policyholder relied on to delay filing suit.

If your claim has been wrongfully denied call today for your free consultation with a partner. No recovery. No fee.

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