Practice Overview

Too often, when tragedy strikes or unexpected losses occur, the insurance company which has charged and accepted expensive premiums for years, fails to live up to its obligations under its policy, and instead looks for a way out. Relying on convoluted policy language or boilerplate “exclusions” buried in the fine print of the policy, the insurance company informs its insured that it is not responsible for the insured’s loss, and that the coverage the insured thought it was paying for, is not there.

Sonkin • Koberna’s lawyers are trained to put the insurance company’s denials of coverage to the test. We are thoroughly familiar with standard policy language and exclusions the insurance companies attempt to rely on, and understand how the courts have interpreted those provisions in the past. Our attorneys know that, under Ohio law, insurance companies owe their insureds a duty to act in good faith, and that they may not rely on ambiguous, unclear or defective policy language to deny coverage. They also know that insurance companies have a duty to properly investigate and adjust claims presented under their policies, duties the insurance companies often neglect.

We have extensive experience analyzing insurance policies and finding coverage for our clients, where none was thought to exist. We have recovered insurance benefits through both negotiation and litigation on behalf of both our business and individual clients under comprehensive general liability policies, directors and officers liability policies, employment practices liability policies, homeowners and automobile insurance policies, property and casualty policies and environmental liability policies.


  • Recovered insurance benefits under commercial general liability policy after dry cleaner was sued to recover cost of remediating soils allegedly contaminated with dry cleaning solvents, overcoming pollution exclusion
  • Obtained judgment in favor of national automobile insurance company on claims brought by rental car company for coverage and indemnification arising from accident involving driver of rental car
  • Represented homeowner in recovering benefits under homeowner’s policy for mold remediation costs
  • Recovered insurance benefits under trick and device coverage for automobile leasing company that parted with possession of vehicles and titles following promises of payment
  • Recovered $49,000 in insurance benefits under false pretense coverage for automobile wholesaler who delivered possession and titles to vehicles in reliance upon false promises and payment
  • Obtained dismissal of client sued by insurance carrier seeking to avoid coverage in underlying product liability litigation
  • Obtained judgment in favor of dry cleaning business for insurance benefits following arson fire at one of its facilities after insurer denied coverage under vacancy exclusion
  • Represented landlord in dispute with national retail conglomerate regarding insurance recovery on claim of over $500,000 in lost inventory and business interruption due to partial roof collapse
  • Represented insurance company in evaluating coverage on defending insured against defamation lawsuit for business owner who made disparaging comments about former employee’s attorneys