Becker & Poliakoff

Insurance Coverage Disputes

Firm attorneys represent both insureds and insurers in coverage matters including breach of contract, declaratory judgment and bad faith actions.

Several firm attorneys have experience in insurance coverage issues relating to a wide variety of claims including post disaster claims with major insurance companies which denied coverage. Our attorneys understand the complexity of coverage issues and how to analyze policies to prove coverage. We have experience both in and outside the courtroom including recent cases in which our attorneys have forced insurance companies to concede coverage through strategic courtroom maneuvers.

Representative Cases
Genovese v. Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company, Broward Circuit Court
The firm served as co-counsel for plaintiff Dr. Genovese who brought a breach of contract action against insurer, which resulted in a second jury decision against Provident to recover his lifetime disability benefits. The earlier verdict resulted in the jury finding total disability under the plaintiff’s policy.

Waterside v. CNA, (Employee theft coverage granted). Southern District of Florida, Case No. 09-CV006944
In Waterside, a condominium bought a policy to protect itself from employee theft. In filling out the application for insurance, the condominium noted that it had a “two signature” policy for all checks. A property manager then circumvented the two signature rule and cashed numerous checks for her own benefit. Becker filed a First Party Complaint against Waterside’s insurance company CNA. Incredibly, the insurance company denied the claim, stating that Waterside had violated the two signature policy procedure. Becker filed a lawsuit in federal court proving the violation of the two check policy was the exact reason why CNA owed the coverage. Once the lawsuit was forwarded to outside counsel, CNA realized that the insurance company had no defense and they immediately agreed to pay the claim as well as all Waterside attorney’s fees and costs.

Kiswani v. AIG, ($10 Million Excess Coverage Granted) Southern District of Florida, Case No. 08-CV23520
In this case, AIG disclaimed coverage connected to a truck accident in which the victim became a quadriplegic. AIG initially denied coverage on their $10 million excess policy. The firm filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District challenging their denial and demonstrating why their policy covered the accident. After the filing, AIG admitted coverage without reservation.

Sugar Sands v. Travelers, (First party property damage granted) Southern District of Florida, Case No. 08-09CV80250
Sugar Sands made a property damage claim against Travelers regarding the problems caused by the settling of a floor slab. Travelers initially denied coverage under the prior litigation exclusion to their policy. Becker attorneys filed declaratory judgment action alleging that the prior litigation was unrelated to the present damage and should be covered. Travelers quickly reversed their position and settled the case.

Fisher v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, (Medicare coverage granted) Southern District of Florida, Case No. 08-CV80121
Medicare denied coverage of a life saving cancer dental surgery stating that it was “routine dental care.” A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida using Medicare’s own regulations and case law to prove why coverage should apply. The U.S. Attorney in the case confessed error and the Court awarded all attorneys’ fees.

  • Represented scuba diver in a personal injury action against dive boat operator that involved issues of insurance coverage, maritime law; causation and damages. On eve of trial settled case for 7 figure amount.
  • Represented insurance company and insured in a subrogation matter involving a fire which occurred at a company that was in the building next to the client which was a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Case involved significant insurance coverage issues, as well as causation and damage issues. Defendant Company and its insurer were asserting that most of the damage was caused by the firefighters and thus was not a collectable element of damages. Based upon claims that were asserted and strategies employed we were able to obtain 100% recovery for all clients, as well as the payment of all costs and fees.