Understanding Insurance Bad Faith in Real Property Disputes: A Guide to Colorado Law from an Insurance Claim Lawyer

W. Neal Hollington
W. Neal Hollington

Apr 01, 2024

3 minute read

Insurance Disputes

Insurance serves as a crucial safety net for property owners, providing financial protection against unforeseen damage or loss. However, disputes between policyholders and insurance companies can arise, particularly in real property matters. In Colorado, insurers are legally obligated to act in good faith when handling claims. This entails conducting fair investigations, promptly paying valid claims, and providing reasonable explanations for claim denials. When insurers fail to meet these obligations, policyholders may pursue legal action for insurance bad faith. This guide delves into the concept of insurance bad faith in the context of real property disputes in Colorado, examining pertinent laws and offering insights for affected policyholders from an insurance claim lawyer.

Understanding Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance bad faith encompasses actions by an insurer that unreasonably deny, delay, or underpay a valid claim without a justifiable basis. It can manifest in various ways, including unjustified claim denials, inadequate claims investigations, unreasonable delays in processing claims, and failure to provide a reasonable explanation for claim denials. Insurers are bound by a duty of good faith and fair dealing to policyholders, ensuring they receive the benefits entitled to them under their insurance policies.

Colorado Law on Insurance Bad Faith

Colorado has established laws and regulations governing insurance practices, including provisions addressing bad faith. These laws are primarily outlined in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). Specifically, C.R.S. § 10-3-1115 prohibits unfair or deceptive practices by insurance companies, including the unreasonable delay or denial of claims. Similarly, C.R.S. § 10-3-1116 provides remedies for policyholders subjected to bad faith practices, potentially allowing recovery of damages beyond the original policy benefits, including treble damages (three times the contractual benefit) and attorney fees.

Real Property Disputes and Insurance Bad Faith

Disputes concerning real property can arise from various situations, including damage from natural disasters (e.g., floods, wildfires), structural issues, liability claims, and more. Policyholders may encounter difficulties when dealing with insurers in real property disputes, including disputes over coverage, valuation, and claims processing. In such cases, it's crucial for policyholders to understand their rights and options under Colorado law.

Recognizing Bad Faith Practices

Policyholders should be vigilant for potential signs of insurance bad faith, such as unexplained claim denials, unreasonable delays, insufficient claims investigations, and inconsistent or contradictory communications from insurers. Maintaining meticulous records of all interactions with insurers can prove invaluable in identifying and substantiating bad faith practices. Additionally, policyholders should be aware of their rights under Colorado law and seek legal guidance from an experienced insurance claim lawyer if they suspect bad faith.

Legal Remedies for Policyholders

Policyholders who believe they have experienced insurance bad faith can pursue legal action against their insurer. In Colorado, prevailing policyholders may be entitled to various forms of damages, including compensation for economic losses, emotional distress, attorney's fees, and punitive damages in certain circumstances. However, pursuing legal action can be complex, and policyholders should consult with an experienced insurance claim lawyer to assess their case and navigate the legal process effectively.


Insurance bad faith can have significant ramifications for policyholders, particularly in real property disputes where substantial financial interests are at stake. Familiarity with Colorado's laws on insurance bad faith is essential for policyholders to safeguard their rights and seek fair treatment from insurers. By identifying indicators of bad faith, maintaining thorough documentation of interactions with insurers, and seeking legal counsel when necessary, policyholders can assert their rights and hold insurers accountable for their actions. In doing so, they can pursue the compensation they rightfully deserve and mitigate the impact of insurance bad faith on their real property investments and assets.

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information provided on this website without seeking legal advice from an attorney.