Declaratory Relief in Insurance Coverage Dispute
Insurance coverage disputes are prime actions for declaratory relief. An insurer or insured may pursue an action for declaratory relief in an insurance coverage dispute.
A lawsuit seeking declaratory relief must allege:
 there is a bona fide dispute between the parties,  that the moving party has a justiciable question as to the existence or non-existence of some right, status, immunity, power or privilege, or as to some fact upon which the existence of such right, status, immunity, power or privilege does or may de[p]end,  that plaintiff is in doubt as to the right, status, immunity, power or privilege, and  that there is a bona fide, actual, present need for the declaration.
Security First Ins. Co. v. Phillips, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D1426b (Fla. 5th DCA 2020) (citation omitted).
The action for declaratory relief can require a determination of facts “‘upon which the insurer’s obligations under an insurance policy depend.’” Id. (quotation omitted).
In this case, a dispute arose under a homeowner’s property insurance policy as to whether the loss occurred before or after the inception of the policy. If it occurred before, the loss was excluded. Based on this dispute as to when the loss occurred—before or after the inception of the policy–the insurer filed an action for declaratory relief. This was a proper action for declaratory relief in a coverage dispute.
If you are involved in an insurance coverage dispute, please make sure to consult with counsel. An action for declaratory relief, among other claims, may be the appropriate recourse.
Please contact David Adelstein at [email protected] or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.