June 2017 E-Bulletin for Arbitrators

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Deferment Requests — To Grant or Not To Grant
  2. Don't Forget Prior Payment Credits
  3. Password Use and Reuse
  4. Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShare — "Clerical Error" Redefined

Deferment Requests — To Grant or Not To Grant

Image of a man looking at a laptop screen

A deferment is a postponement of a case being heard for one year from the date of filing. Per Rule 2-10:

  • Deferment requests by the filing company are automatically granted. If a responding company believes the delay is not warranted and challenges the request, an arbitrator will consider and rule on the validity of the request.
  • Deferment requests by a responding company are automatically challenged, and, as above, an arbitrator will consider and rule on the validity of the request.

So, what makes a deferment request "valid"?

To start, the requesting party's Deferment Justification should tell you why the case needs to be deferred for one year, or what impact the companion claim or suit has on the arbitration case. Some examples include the Respondent having a policy limit issue with a BI pending, or a pending coverage or fraud investigation. So long as a valid deferment justification is provided, it is prudent to grant the deferment.

Secondly, like all arguments and allegations, deferment requests must be supported with evidence to prove to the arbitrator that a companion BI claim or litigation is pending. Examples of evidence include a letter of attorney representation, litigation documentation, or claim file documentation.

Top of this bulletin

Don't Forget Prior Payment Credits

Image of a woman looking at her laptop screen

A significant number of decisions are amended each month because a credit for a proven prior payment by the Respondent is not entered. Most errors are made on cases in which the Applicant does not indicate receipt/acceptance of a prior payment, but the Respondent indicates and proves that one has cleared (see graphic below). The decision entry screen does not pre-fill the payment since the Applicant did not enter it, so you, the arbitrator, must do so if the Respondent's evidence proves the payment has cleared.

A new, short tutorial (7 minutes) has been created and posted on the Arbitrator Resources webpage. Take a look at it the next time you hear a case that includes a prior payment and you are not sure how to apply the credit.

Image of the Applicant tab showing payments accepted

Image of the Respondent tab showing amount paid to Applicant

Top of this bulletin

Password Use and Reuse

Image of a password screen

Computer accounts and passwords are an important aspect of computer security as the front line of protection for any system. It is important for Arbitration Forums, Inc. (AF) to adopt strong password protection controls for its users.

Based on member feedback and to further secure our processes, AF has increased the number of passwords that must be used before a password can be reused to 13. This added security control was implemented on AF's website in May 2017.

Top of this bulletin

Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShare — "Clerical Error" Redefined


Enroll today for our upcoming Arbitrator QwikShare! Our QwikShares are 20-minute, topic-specific webinars that focus on post-decision corrections and issues that frequently generate questions from arbitrators. During these instructor-led webinars, attendees may ask questions via Chat. We know your time is valuable. We hope you'll appreciate and take advantage of the opportunity for AF to quickly share important feedback and tips without a significant investment of your time.

Enroll in "Clerical Error" Redefined — Learn about the upcoming revisions to the term "clerical error." Specific examples of clerical errors will be discussed with the goal of preventing these errors before they occur. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via Chat.

Top of this bulletin