In the 44 years attorney Barry Zalma has been helping fight insurance fraud, he has seen just a few modifications to the same ole schemes. What has changed drastically, however, is the willingness of insurers to fight and take fraud cases to trial. In addition to practicing law, Zalma has been publishing an e-newsletter, Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter, twice a month for more than 15 years. Claims Assistant Editor Melissa Stewart spoke with Zalma about his experiences battling fraud, and he provided suggestions about how insurers can successfully conquer their contenders.
What sparked your interest in insurance, specifically fraud?
I was an Army intelligence agent in the 1960s and wanted to continue acting as an investigator. Fireman’s Fund American hired me to work as an adjuster, and I quickly found that insurance fraud seemed to be a regular occurrence. Since I was an investigator before I was an adjuster, I gathered more facts than most and worked hard to establish a defense.