Ian P. Carvajal-Zarabozo

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo has practiced law for over 3 decades, primarily representing maritime interests and Property and Casualty insurers in coverage and insurance defense matters, as well as general civil litigation on commercial matters, in state and federal court. 

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo’s maritime experience includes the representation of ship agents, stevedoring companies, harbor pilots, cargo interests, port and marina operators, yacht builders, dry-dock operators, yacht distributors, and marine contractors in diverse situations, such as collisions, personal injury, and cargo claims. He also advises clients in the drafting of marine and other insurance policies.

As part of his maritime law practice, Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo successfully argued for the establishment of the “warranty of truthfulness” in the Puerto Rico Federal District. As a result, in order to recover from a maritime policy in this jurisdiction, an insured must strictly comply with all warranties in the insurance contract, even if they are collateral to the primary risk that is the policy’s subject. See Markel American Insurance Company v. Veras, 2014 A.M.C. 1452 (D.P.R. 2014).

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo also secured the strict enforcement of the “speed warranty” in a yacht policy. Consequently, upon finding that the subject vessel was capable of achieving speeds in excess of 35 m.p.h., the Court determined that the insured had breached the “speed warranty” provision included in his policy, and as such it was void ab initio. See MAPFRE v. Guadalupe Delgado, 613 F. Supp2d 213 (D.P.R. 2009).  

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo also successfully argued for the application of the strict compliance rule in a breach of warranty case before the First Circuit Court. As a result, his insurer client was excused from making any payment related to the sinking of a boat, because the insured had breached a promissory warranty related to the boat’s fire extinguishers, even though the condition of the fire extinguishing equipment had no relation whatsoever to the sinking of the boat. See Lloyd’s of London v. Pagán Sánchez, 2008 A.M.C. 1990 (1st Cir. 2008).

Furthermore, Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo convinced the Court to reject the notion that the abolition of uberrimae fidei doctrine in the United Kingdom, where it originated, required its abolition from American maritime law. See QBE Seguros v. Morales-Vázquez, 986 F. 3d 1 (D.P.R. 2014).

Another substantial portion of Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo’s practice is devoted to insurance coverage counseling and litigation on property, casualty, and marine risks. Among the many high stakes matters he has managed, Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo has represented insurers in class actions, as well as reinsurers regarding issues with the cedent insurer and direct claims from insureds. 

In recent years, various local and international underwriters have relied on Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo to counsel them on and later litigate some of Puerto Rico’s largest property insurance claims following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María. In that capacity, he was entrusted with devising and stewarding the defense for claims that in the aggregate exceeded $3 billion dollars.  

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo has also represented underwriters in a variety of other situations, such as coverage disputes concerning the design and construction of Puerto Rico’s so called “super-aqueduct”; cases were the Abuse and Molestation Exclusion applied; litigation due to misrepresentation and concealment by insureds in the application or claim submission processes; construction defect lawsuits were business endeavors exclusions applied; and complex business interruption claims by financial institutions, energy sector companies, and other corporations.

Mr. Carvajal-Zarabozo is one of SCVR’s founding Shareholders. He also co-founded the firm’s predecessor, Saldaña & Carvajal, P.S.C.

  • Tulane University School of Law (LL.M. in Admiralty)
  • Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Law (J.D.)
  • St. Joseph’s University (B.A., Political Science)
  • Louisiana
  • Puerto Rico
  • United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • QBE Seguros v. Morales-Vázquez, 986 F. 3d 1 (D.P.R. 2014)
  • Markel American Insurance Company v. Veras, 995 F. Supp. 2d 65 (D.P.R. 2014)
  • MAPFRE v. Guadalupe Delgado, 613 F. Supp. 2d 213 (D.P.R. 2009)
  • Lloyd’s of London v. Pagán Sánchez, 539 F. 3d 319 (1st Cir. 2008)
  • Rodríguez v. Hoyos, 2008 AMC 891 (D.P.R. 2008)
  • Sylva v. Culebra Dive Shop, 389 F. Supp. 2d 189 (D.P.R. 2005)
  • Kunkel v. Motor Sport, Inc., 349 F. Supp. 2d 198, 2004 AMC 1600 (D.P.R. 2004)
  • Pan American Grain v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 2002 AMC 1988 (1st Cir. 2002)