Walter Alvarez appealed to the Pinnacle Insurance Group's summary judgment in favor of Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana, Inc. ("Pinnacle") and Joyce Helsel ("Helsel", and together with Pinnacle, "defendant") of his claim for recovery of a of his cars. In Walter Alvarez v Joyce Helsel & Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana, Inc. Court of Appeals Case No. 20A-CT-632, Court of Appeals Of Indiana (September 16, 2020) The Court of Appeals considered a claim by Alvarez that the addition of collision coverage was automatically added after he started driving his Ferrari 458 ("Ferrari 458").
On September 27, 2016, Alvarez was involved in a single car accident while driving a Ferrari. 458. He sued the defendants who claimed that he had car insurance with Pinnacle and that he was forced to personally incur $ 242,000 in property damage and repairs for the Ferrari 458 due to Helset's negligent actions and / or omissions. trusted that he was insured for collision coverage.
The Court adopted a decision granting the defendant's summary assessment proposal. Since he did not drive the Ferrari 458 regularly and would store it for long periods, Alvarez would limit the coverage to extensive and only change the coverage to collision and extensive when he expected to drive the Ferrari 458. The changes were implemented with the agent, Helsel, via email, fax , directly from Alvarez or one of his employees.
Alvarez does not claim that Helsel had an obligation to unilaterally change the insurance coverage on Ferrari or other vehicles owned by Alvarez without his management and consent. [1
Alvarez failed to assert any facts or legal authority to support his claim that Helsel had an obligation to provide him with an "Accord Change Form" in the absence of any request to do so prior to the accident.
The party concerned bears the first burden of making a prima facie which shows that there are no real questions of material facts and that it is entitled to a judgment by law. Any doubts about facts or conclusions that can be drawn from it must be resolved in favor of the non-mobile party.
Alvarez claims that the trial court erred in finding that it was not reasonably foreseeable and expected him to drive a Ferrari 458 six days after being informed that his insurance was limited and that there were no real facts. concerning the parties' relationship and business practices with regard to his car insurance. He claims that there was a consistent, ongoing pattern of written correspondence and telephone conversations between himself and Helsel, where “Insurance Change Forms, even before signing, had an“ Effective Date of Change ”the same day the change was requested, allowing Alvarez to reasonably believe that the coverage had been restored to a vehicle on the request date, not a later date.
Helsel and Pinnacle claim that Alvarez never asked for collision coverage for the Ferrari 458 before the accident. They claimed that several times after the collision coverage was removed from the Ferrari 458 in 2015, Alvarez was informed that there was no collision coverage on the Ferrari, including September 21, 2016, and since there was no request to reintroduce the coverage, there can be no liability for failure to do so.
The evidence presented contained a statement from Helsel stating that she faxed a message on 5 February 2016 to remind Alvarez that the Ferrari 458 and other vehicles only had extensive coverage on the upcoming renewal date on 17 March; faxed a second request on February 23, 2016 for confirmation of previous fax; faxed and emailed messages on March 15, 2016 and again informed him that the Ferrari 458 and other vehicles had only extensive coverage, to which he replied and stated receipt; and received a memo stating that Alvarez did not want to add collision coverage on Ferrari 458.
She also stated that on March 22, 2016, an Alvarez employee called and asked to confirm coverage on certain vehicles, she sent a text message to Alvarez referring to the March 15 messages "showing all vehicle tires" and saying "No changes since last week", and she sent a copy of the current declarations showing that Ferrari only had extensive coverage.
While Alvarez claims that he verbally requested that full coverage be restored to the Ferrari 458 on September 21, 2016, he could not mention that this is an incorrect message and that it is not supported by the Post and the only request was the day after the accident. Alvarez does not point to designated evidence that either he or one of his employees requested, either orally or in writing, that collision coverage be added for Ferrari before the accident on September 27, 2016 and after his December 8, 2015 request that collision coverage be
Based on the evidence provided, and there is no real question of substantive facts, the judgment of the Court was upheld.
Insurance is a contract that requires, in order for the coverage to apply, a random event. during the insurance period. In this case, lawyer Alvarez should have known that it is inappropriate and fraudulent to seek insurance the day after an accident. Insurance is not, without payment of an excessive premium, retroactive. The court found that the presentation of the allegation that he asked for coverage before the accident that he missed the facts. The court was kind enough not to note that Alvarez tried to defraud and wasted the time of the court and the court of appeal.
© 2020 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now restricts his practice of serving as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, cheating and insurance fraud almost equally for insurance policyholders. He also acts 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 lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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