MALIBU — Actress Tracey Bregman is suing her insurance company, Lloyd’s of London, for underpaying her insurance benefits after the 2018 Woolsey Fire burnt down her Malibu home, as announced by Merlin Law Group on June 11.
Bregman’s home was destroyed in 2018 by the Woolsey Fire, which destroyed over 1,600 buildings and burned nearly 100,000 square miles. After her house was destroyed Bregman filed an insurance claim to rebuild her house.
“The lawsuit alleges that Lloyd’s hired an unqualified and biased consultant to prepare an estimate for the cost to rebuild the property.” Merlin Law Group writes. Based on the estimate given by the consultant, Lloyd’s of London refused to pay out anything over the consultant’s estimate.
Bregman allegedly hired several of her own licensed contractors to provide estimates for the damages the fire caused to her house. Media Law Group said in their statement these contractors placed the price of the actual rebuild millions of dollars over what Lloyd’s of London paid. The lawsuit also alleges the price given by Lloyd’s consultant failed to consider the increase of construction costs in Southern California after the Woolsey Fire.
“Merlin Law Group aims to hold Lloyd’s accountable for paying the full coverage benefits owed to Ms. Bregman as a result of their bad faith tactics. The lawsuit seeks an award of contractual, general, and punitive damages against Lloyd’s.” as stated in Merlin Law Group’s press release.
Bregman is most known for her roles on television shows The Young and The Restless and The Bold in the Beautiful. She also appeared in Days of Our Lives for two years and was nominated for Best Actress at the Los Angeles Underground Film Festival in 2015.
Since the Woolsey Fire destroyed Bregman’s home she has not been able to rebuild her house and has since been living in temporary housing. Bregman wrote in an Instagram post on the one year anniversary of the Woolsey Fire saying, “I hold everyone’s hand as we look back and now as we look forward to new beginnings and things that truly matter.”
As the city of Malibu approaches 2 years since the Woolsey Fire this November, only three single-family rebuilds have been completed. Progress is on the way with 240 rebuilds approved by planning and 104 total permits issued. 12 multi-family homes have had permits issued, and none have been rebuilt yet. In 2019, Mayor Farrer announced all rebuild fees would be waived until June 30, 2020.
Earlier this year Malibu contractor Mark Celentano spoke with the Malibu Times saying the delay in rebuilds is due to insurance companies, “insurance won’t pay until they get a bid from a contractor. When they get the bid, they tend to undervalue and argue with the rebuild costs.”
Media Law Group ended their statement saying, “This is another example of insurers not fulfilling their obligations to policyholders. An insurer is wrong and breaches its duty to its policyholders when it unreasonably refuses to pay policy benefits for a covered loss despite the insured having adequate coverage.”
If you are interested in applying for a rebuild fee waiver please click here.