Find the right lawyer now

Wrongful Repudiation of an Insurance Policy

Find a Local Finance Lawyer near You

What Is Wrongful Repudiation of an Insurance Policy?

Wrongful repudiation of an insurance policy is the illegal action by an insurance company of canceling a health, life, automobile, or property insurance policy. Aside from completely canceling an insurance policy, an insurance company has also wrongfully repudiated an insurance policy if they:

  • Deny the existence of the policy,
  • Refuse to comply with the terms of the policy,
  • Seek to change to terms of the insurance policy without your consent,
  • Intend not to perform their obligations under the policy,
  • Fail to adhere to the established customs as related to the insurance policy, or
  • Fail to renew the policy without providing a reason for doing so.

What Can I Do If My Insurance Policy is Wrongfully Repudiated?

Most states allow you to sue an insurance company if the company has wrongfully repudiated your insurance policy. The majority of lawsuits for wrongful repudiation of an insurance policy are based largely on breach of contract law. There are generally three different approaches that a victim of a wrongful repudiated insurance policy can take:

  1. Treat the insurance policy as terminated, or rescinded, and sue for any appropriate damages,
  2. Sue the insurance company to enforce the existing policy, or
  3. Wait until the terms of the insurance policy have matured and sue the insurance company for damages.

A few states even allow you to rescind an insurance policy and sue for damages if the insurance company has not yet actually wrongfully repudiated on the policy, but you have reason to believe that they will do so in the future. This action is called an anticipatory repudiation. You should take extreme caution in this area because it could end up that you are the one in breach, and the insurance company could sue you.

What Can I Recover?

Even though a lawsuit for the wrongful repudiation of an insurance policy is very similar to a breach of contract case, the damages available in a wrongful repudiation lawsuit are slightly different that those available for a breach of contract case. In most cases, damages for a wrongful repudiation lawsuit can include:

  • Any damages you suffered during the time you were covered by the insurance policy, including monetary loss and pain and suffering,
  • Punitive damages against the insurance company,
  • Damages prescribed by a statute, and
  • The benefits you have forthcoming under the policy minus the premiums you paid, or
  • Recovery of all the premiums you paid, but none of the benefits you are owed.

Do I Need an Attorney if My Insurance Policy is Wrongfully Repudiated?

If you think your insurance policy was wrongfully repudiated, it is strongly recommended that you contact an experienced attorney who deals with insurance law. Only an attorney will be able to adequately explain the issues and help defend your rights.

Photo of page author Kristen Johnson

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 01-17-2018 10:33 PM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.