Barry Zalma, Inc.

Barry Zalma founded Barry Zalma, Inc. in 1979 to help resolve every insurance claim problem faced by you or your clients. For more than 51 years as a claims person and insurance coverage attorney, Barry Zalma has represented insurers, advised insurers on claims handling, interpreted coverages and testified as an insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, insurance claims handling and insurance fraud expert on behalf of insurers and policy holders’ suing insurers. He now limits his practice to consultation and service as an insurance claims handling expert.

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Latest from Barry Zalma, Inc.

Insured Failed to Prove Agent Breached Duty of Care It is not unusual for an insured to select the minimum required uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to save money. Only after an accident, with 20/20 hindsight, does the insured understand the need for higher limits. When the injuries are serious and the limits are inadequate, invariably the agent is sued for failing to acquire sufficient limits. Such was the case in Omar Alabassi v. T.I.B.…
Expected or Intended: The Fortuity Doctrine See the full video at https://youtu.be/0hS8OhnATME The fortuity doctrine arises from the basic concept upon which insurance is founded: that insurance covers risks, not losses that were planned, intended, or anticipated by the insured. It has always been the view of insurers that losses that were expected by the insured could not be insured. To do so would have a counterproductive effect. No one would buy insurance until they…
No Cover for Defense of Criminal Charges Made Years After Claim Made by Prosecutors Appellant Denis M. Field challenged a final summary judgment in favor of dozens of insurers (appellees) in his suit to recover defense costs he incurred in a criminal trial in which he was acquitted. The trial court determined that the costs for which he sought reimbursement were not made in connection with a “claim,” as defined in the policy, during the…
Latent Defect See the full video at https://youtu.be/fFhppjrhVMU Cases that provide coverage despite an exclusion for latent defects fall generally within two categories. The court determines either that: the defect could have been discovered through appropriate testing and it is therefore not latent; or the loss resulted from a contributory covered risk. “A policy will define latent defect” as “a hidden flaw inherent in the material existing at the time of the original building of…
Insured May not Assume Coverage Exists if the Insured Fails to Order Collision Coverage Walter Alvarez appealed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana, Inc. (“Pinnacle”) and Joyce Helsel (“Helsel,” and together with Pinnacle, “Defendants”) on his complaint seeking recovery for damage to one of his automobiles. In Walter Alvarez v. Joyce Helsel & Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana, Inc., Court of Appeals Case No. 20A-CT-632, Court…
Duties of the Public Adjuster See the full video at https://youtu.be/AoJnf_MhiQI Most policyholders do not have the in-house capability to investigate, evaluate, and negotiate significant property insurance losses. While some losses, such as a small fire loss requiring only minor repairs, may be dealt with easily, others, which involve more complex damages and different potential causes of loss, are much harder to assess. Resolving them may require expertise in understanding the scope of coverage provided…
Common Meaning of “Occurrence” Applied Since Policy Did not Define Term In Port Consolidated, Inc. v. International Insurance Company Of Hannover, PLC, No. 19-13544, United States Court Of Appeals For The Eleventh Circuit (September 8, 2020) Port Consolidated, Inc. (“Port”), a Florida corporation, appealed the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of International Insurance Company of Hannover, PLC (“InterHannover”), a foreign corporation, on Port’s breach of contract claim, as well as the district…
Trigger of Coverage The term “trigger of coverage” means “what event must occur for potential coverage to commence under the terms of the insurance policy” and “what must take place within the policy’s effective dates for the potential of coverage to be ‘triggered.’” [In Re Feature Realty Litig., 468 F. Supp.2d 1287, 1295, n.2 (E.D. Wash. 2006)] After the California Supreme Court adopted a continuous trigger in Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Admiral Ins. Co. (1995)…
Casualty Insurance See the full video at https://youtu.be/zXxftSYktgg Many people use the terms “casualty” and “liability” as if they were synonymous. However, casualty insurance includes insurance that does not fall within the definition of liability insurance. “Casualty insurance” is defined as an “agreement to indemnify against loss resulting from a broad group of causes such as legal liability, theft, accident, property damage, and workers’ compensation.” Black’s Law Dictionary 871 (9th ed. 2009). Liability insurance is…
Illegal Alien Deported Because of Conviction of Insurance Fraud Anahi Jaquez-Estrada sought review of a decision of the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming a decision of an Immigration Judge which found her removable to Mexico. In Anahi Jaquez-Estrada, v. William P. Barr, No. 19-9569, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit (August 25, 2020) after being convicted of the crime of insurance fraud, and years of litigation with the United States Jaquez-Estrada…