A US insurance company has claimed actress Shannen Doherty is just looking for sympathy — and a payout to get her California home repaired — by announcing her terminal stage 4 cancer diagnosis.

According to the New York Post, the former Charmed star sued US insurance company State Farm in March 2019 after the insurance giant refused to pay the full amount for repairs on her home, which was damaged in the devastating 2018 California fires.

In a filing in Los Angeles federal court, lawyers for State Farm wrote that Doherty plans to "garner sympathy by her contention that State Farm must rebuild her entire house" when she appears at trial.

"Plaintiff improperly claims she is entitled to have her entire home rebuilt at a cost of $US2.7 million ($A4 million) because she has breast cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease," the court documents state.

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Doherty, 48, this week revealed her breast cancer had returned, saying her diagnosis was going to become public this week as part of the lawsuit.

"I'd rather people hear it from me. I don't want it to be twisted. I don't want it to be a court document," she said in an interview on Good Morning America.

"I want it to be real and authentic. I want to control the narrative. I want people to know from me."

In the new filing, State Farm claims Doherty's house only had smoke damage and not any fire or structural damage.

The insurance company said it's already paid $US1 million ($A1.48 million) for remediation, professional cleaning and for the actress to rent a temporary home.

Doherty's lawyer, Devin McRae, told the New York Post it was "appalling" that State Farm would claim Doherty only revealed her health condition to garner sympathy.