When Do I Need a Califronia Insurance Coverage Attorney?


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Individuals and business interests in San Diego are often denied coverage under valid insurance policies. The first question to be answered is:

“Does the coverage in my policy cover the specific circumstances of my claim?”

The second question to be answered is:

“Is the insurance company acting in good faith with respect to my policy claim?”

When an insurance company such as a commercial insurance provider, automobile or motor vehicle insurer, or provider of other insurance such as blanket liability policies, fire insurance, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance denies a claim they are required to provide a letter detailing the reasons behind the denial of coverage. Many individuals and business owners are overwhelmed by the “legalese”
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or complex legal terms contained within their own insurance policy.

In these cases, the insured are well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced and seasoned insurance attorney. Your attorney should carefully review the terms of your policy coverage in light of the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim. Your attorney should advise you regarding your legal standing, the coverages provided under your policy and whether or not legal action or a lawsuit would be in order.

Your insurance attorney will contact the insurance carrier and manage all aspects of the rebuttal of the denial in your case. It may be necessary to file a breach of contract lawsuit, or take some other legal action to compel the insurance company to honor the terms and conditions of their own policy.

If the insurance company is not acting in good faith, there are several courses of action available to you as a policy holder. California law provides specific financial recovery for damages resulting from the illegal actions of an insurance company. In severe cases involving fraud, intimidation or malice your attorney may seek punitive damages in addition to compensation for your losses, the emotional duress caused by the experience and recovery of your attorney’s fees.

Take Action if You Receive a “Reservation of Rights” Letter from your Insurance Company

A “Reservation of Rights” letter usually states that your insurance company has tentatively agreed to represent you or defend you per the terms of your policy, but with important reservations. The insurance company reserves the right to deny coverage under a part or all of your policy at any point down the road. This leaves you, the policy holder, in an unacceptable position of genuine legal risk. You may be entitled to a “Cumis Counsel” or independent legal representative under California law (paid for by your insurance company).

If you receive a “Reservation of Rights” letter or are concerned about the coverages of a valid insurance policy it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced insurance attorney. Your attorney will provide insight into the coverages provided under your policy, the impact of the unique facts of your case and the actions you should take as a result. California has strong laws to protect its citizens and policy holders from insurance companies who do not fairly deal with insured policy holders. Your insurance attorney will help you to hold them accountable under the terms of their own policy and the protections of California law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Watkins
Mr. Watkins is an experienced litigator and true trial attorney with over 50 Jury and Bench trials to his credit in 25+ years of practice. He has successfully represented both large companies and individuals, and achieved substantial victories in well-publicized trials throughout California and Wisconsin.

Mr. Watkins has successfully tried and litigated cases in the areas of healthcare, business litigation, unfair business practices, fraud, breach of contract, battery, discrimination, sexual harassment, construction defect, as well as unfair competition, defamation and trade secrets.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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