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Failure to Defend

Insurance Bad Faith: Failures to Defend Policyholders

Most people know that when you purchase an insurance policy, your insurer assumes a legal obligation to reimburse you (up to your coverage limits) for losses that are covered under the policy's terms and definitions.

What many policyholders know little or nothing about is the insurance company's duty to defend — a second type of legal obligation assumed by the insurer, one much broader than the first.

At Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad, Harris & McSparran, we represent individual and business clients in claims involving insurance company failures to defend. Our lawyers have extensive litigation experience and are available to handle cases throughout Northern California. To arrange for a consultation, call our offices at 415.673.5600 or contact us online. Our lawyers have extensive litigation experience and are available to handle cases throughout Northern California, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

A Dangerous Game

Whenever an insurance company chooses not to defend an insured against a claim, they play a very dangerous game. If they're right and the claim is clearly not covered under the policy's terms, then they save a little money.

However, if they are wrong (and if there is any possibility of coverage they would be wrong not to defend you), then they stand to lose a lot.

If you've been harmed by an insurer's failure to defend you, your business or your professional reputation, our attorneys may be able to help you recover:

  • Actual financial damages you suffered as a result of the insurance company's failure to defend you. This may include losses caused by the interruption of your business activities, and collateral losses as well.
  • Punitive damages to deter future bad faith dealings by the insurance company and the industry as a whole as well as other damages intended to compensate you for stress, aggravation and other non-economic harms.
  • Attorney fees you paid to defend yourself.

An AV* Rated Law Firm

We offer free initial consultations and can provide advice and representation on either an hourly basis or on a contingency basis. To learn more, call our offices in downtown San Francisco at 415.673.5600 or contact us online.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.



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Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad, Harris & McSparran, LLP

1388 Sutter Street, Suite 1000
San Francisco CA 94109-5454

Phone: 415.673.5600
Fax: 415.673.5606

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