The Right to Independent Counsel
62 Videos describing important insurance issues described by Barry Zalma and available to anyone who views or subscribes to the YouTube account. Issues include insurance fraud, definition of insurance, insurance as a contract of personal indemnity, millions for defense and not a dime for tribute and the tort of bad faith. Please subscribe. The 62 videos are at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFg7qxC0tVgKcMUqoUfnwPw/videos bit I have had some difficulty posting new videos to my YouTube channel and have decided to post all future videos on insurance, insurance claims, insurance law, and insurance fraud to this my blog, https://zalma.com/blog.
The Cumis Doctrine
In California, and most other states, if an insurer provides a defense to an insured under a reservation of rights based on a possible lack of coverage the insurer must pay “the reasonable cost for hiring independent counsel [selected] by the insured.” [San Diego Federal Credit Union v. Cumis Insurance Society, Inc., 162 Cal. App. 3d 358, 375 (1984).]
Cumis is representative of a growing body of case law that gives the insured an absolute right to choose independent counsel where a conflict exists. However, Finley v. Home Insurance Company, where the Supreme Court of Hawaii refused to adopt the Cumis doctrine, furnishes the exception that proves the rule.
Since Cumis, courts have refused to require the insurer to pay independent counsel’s fees where the “resolution of the third party claim would not affect the coverage dispute.”
The Cumis case also allowed for abuse by the unscrupulous. Recent legislation in California has provided insurers with tools to control such abuse. Recent decisions have also limited the applicability of the Cumis doctrine. While Cumis is often discussed as though it were a ground-breaking case, it is more important for having made the key concept common knowledge rather than for having developed a new rule of law.
Over the last 52 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals. https://zalma.com/blog/insurance-claims-library/
© 2020 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award.
Over the last 52 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.
Read posts from Barry Zalma at https://parler.com/profile/Zalma/posts
Subscribe to e-mail Version of ZIFL, it’s Free! – https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001Gb86hroKqEYVdo-PWnMUkV7pkuOtkiv6oakpgK33CNlNAYW-WBlLCOZFtgvpSdcL7R-tsWKfMVqG6fEuvmM7Hh7gUEJ7yKOdgHDbGl_cGAU%3D