Deadly California Wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
In 2017 and 2018, California wildfires burned over 18.8 million acres resulting in devastating loss of life and property. As survivors work to rebuild and return to a sense of normalcy, they are turning to their insurance companies for help just to find that they are underinsured or their insurance company is refusing to properly compensate them for their full or partial loss.
With billions of dollars in losses, insurance companies are protecting their bottom line by shortchanging property owners. Despite paying thousands of dollars in premiums, property owners are being forced to pay for fire damage out of their own pocket or relocate.
KBK is working with victims impacted by California wildfires to ensure they know their legal rights and are justly compensated for their loss. If you have been impacted by California wildfires and are underinsured or have been underpaid by your insurance company, fill out our Consultation Form for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Many of those impacted by California wildfires have had to face the hard truth that the insurance policies that they have paid thousands of dollars towards will not fully cover the damage to their property. Nearly 80% of property owners affected by the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires were underinsured with 60% of them being underinsured by several hundred thousand dollars. According to a United Policyholders survey involving the 2017 wildfires, two-thirds of respondents reported being underinsured by an average of $317,000.
These displaced homeowners have unjustly paid tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket to rebuild with some being forced to rebuild elsewhere due to cost. If you were underinsured, you may have a case and be entitled to compensation. KBK is here to help.
Failure to Fairly Compensate
With property owners desperate to receive payment and start rebuilding, insurance companies are well positioned to take advantage by underpaying claims. Insurance companies have taken advantage of those impacted by the wildfires by offering lower settlements that are well under policy limits and do not adequately cover the damage done. Even worse, insurers are using delay tactics and confusing jargon to get property owners to accept less than what their claims are worth.
KBK is dedicated to maximizing recovery and is fighting to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure that victims are justly compensated. If your insurance company has failed to fairly compensate you for your loss, you may have a case and be entitled to damages.
Insurance Bad Faith
California law defines certain acts and conduct that can qualify as bad faith, which includes:
- unreasonable denial of policy benefits,
- misrepresenting facts or policy provisions to claimants,
- failing to respond or act in a timely manner on a claim,
- lack of reasonable standards for the prompt investigation and processing of claims,
- failing to either approve or deny claims within a reasonable time period after the loss was submitted,
- refusing to settle the claim in good faith when liability is reasonably clear,
- forcing the insured to litigate the claim because the insurance company has refused to make an adequate settlement offer,
- misleading a claimant as to the legal deadline for filing a claim or initiating a lawsuit, advising the insured not to hire a lawyer, and
- failing to give a reason for denial of a claim, and threats by the insurance company to compel its insured to accept an unreasonable settlement offer.
In fact, when investigating a claim, an insurance company has a duty to diligently search for evidence which supports its insured’s claim in order to holds the interest of their insured above their own. (Mariscal v. Old Republic Life Ins. Co. (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1617, 1620.
Damages for insurance bad faith include contract damages, extra-contractual compensation, and sometimes punitive damages. Property owners impacted by the California Wildfires are vulnerable to acts of bad faith by insurance companies and may be entitled to damages. KBK is here to help.
If you have been impacted by the California Wildfires and are underinsured or have been underpaid by your insurance company, fill out our Consultation form for a free and confidential case evaluation.
YOUR JUSTICE TEAM
The KBK team is our most valuable resource and the reason for our success.
The KBK justice team is committed to holding insurance companies responsible. If you have been impacted by the California Wildfires, the attorneys at KBK are here to help.
Kabateck LLP is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s firm that litigates complex cases with an impressive record of success. KBK has recovered more than a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for its clients. These notable victories have made a significant impact in the legal community and resulted in better consumer protections in the areas of personal injury, insurance bad faith, pharmaceutical litigation, wrongful death, class action, mass torts and disaster litigation. KBK is a full-service contingent fee law firm that values every case equally and is committed to maximizing recovery.
The firm’s landmark cases have received extensive, national media coverage. Founding and Managing Partner, Brian Kabateck is frequently requested by news outlets to provide insight and commentary on all legal issues. Because of his deep knowledge of the law and dynamic speaking style, Mr. Kabateck is a frequent contributor to national, local and legal media outlets. He makes regular appearances on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and CW stations. In addition to his television, radio and print exposure, Mr. Kabateck often speaks at seminars, law schools and industry events.