For failing to disclose felonies, including one for insurance fraud

QBE Insurance and its general managing agent has been sued for more than $500m in damages, claiming bad faith and deception in handling hurricane claims.

The insurance company has issued a hurricane insurance policy in May, 2005 to Buckley Towers. The condominium association notified the insurer of extensive damage to roofs, windows, sliding glass doors, as well as extensive structural damage to the buildings. The condominium association filed a Federal Court lawsuit for its losses when QBE refused to pay any part of its claim.

According to the lawsuit, Buckley Towers stated that Florida Intracoastal Underwriters and QBE hired as its contact person an estimator whose Florida insurance adjustor’s license was revoked for failing to disclose felonies, including one for insurance fraud.

The lawsuit also stated that QBE made baseless allegations that Buckley Towers committed misconduct, including fraud, to avoid paying its valid claim. It stated that QBE, in June, 2009, agreed to pay a $150,000 fine after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation accused the company of violating state insurance regulations and administrative codes and entered into a consent decree concerning numerous violations.

Daniel Rosenbaum, the managing partner of Katzman Garfinkel Rosenbaum, in West Palm Beach, obtained a judgment against QBE from a Federal Court jury trial in February, 2009 for approximately $25m, plus another $1.75m being awarded in attorneys’ fees, for Buckley Towers condominium in Miami.