Did Your Insurance Broker Look Out For Your Interests Or The Insurance Company’s Interests?

Sometimes policyholders can pay for and count on an insurance policy for years and not realize they are not covered — until it is too late. Then the insurance company denies a claim, telling the policyholder, “That isn’t covered by your policy.”

That can sometimes be the fault of broker negligence: The broker promised coverage that was not in the policy or failed to put in coverage at the request of the policyholder. Insurance policies are not written to ease understanding, so policyholders often rely on the broker to tell them what is covered.

Broker negligence: The broker failed to match words to actions.

At the Girardi | Keese law firm, our attorneys have seen examples of broker negligence for more than 40 years. In recent years, as brokers seek to increase sales and insurance companies fail to oversee their brokers, we have noticed a significant rise in broker negligence.

Usually it works like this: A customer needs reassurance that certain situations are covered. The broker provides the reassurance, but fails to check the policy or change the policy to meet the promises made. Sometimes, the broker or agent seems to be looking out for the company rather than the policyholder. The sale is what’s important, not the coverage.

The law recognizes an unequal relationship in the insurance contract.

The insurance company and the broker understand the policy. They know the words, the law and all the nuances contained in an insurance contract. The customer is at a disadvantage — and the insurance company is obligated to recognize that inherent inequality and protect the consumer.

Broker negligence can leave an insured business or individual without the coverage they needed and counted on. When we see clear evidence of broker negligence, our trial lawyers are fully prepared to take the broker and the company to court. Contact us if you know of a case of broker negligence or insurance bad faith. We represent clients throughout California.


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