There are exceptions to "Brandt" fees. Find out if you qualify.
Liability insurance policies promise to pay for the cost to defend the insured in a covered lawsuit and to fund the judgment or settlement in that suit, up to the limits of insurance. In most cases, the policy limits are exclusive of defense costs and only apply to the ultimate judgment or settlement. In these circumstances, insurers retain the right to control the defense and settlement of the action, subject to the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That covenant requires insurers to act reasonably and consider the insured's interests equal to their own. If an insurer breaches the implied covenant, an insured may sue the insurer in tort for acting in “bad faith.”
Under California law, the statute of limitations for filing a breach of contract suit against an insurance company for wrongfully denying a claim is four years. However, California allows for that period to be contractually shortened.
A covenant to act in good faith and deal fairly with the insured is implied in every insurance contract, even if not written in it.