Filer/Responder Workshop Webinar Recap – April 2024

AF recently facilitated its latest Filer/Responder Workshop webinars on April 24 and 25 with our member companies. The purpose of these 30-minute workshops is to drive decision quality by:
  • Sharing information to improve filing and responding effectiveness
  • Answering questions attendees have regarding filing and responding to cases.
The following are key takeaways from the April workshops.

Damage Disputes (Dispute Justifications, Rebuttals, and Damages in Dispute)
  • Include specific damage arguments (justification of the length of rental, why certain parts were used, the need for a tow to a different city, etc.) when entering your initial justification and/or rebuttal as a filing company. 
  • In the damage dispute section, a responding company would include the disputed items, dollar amounts, and reason for the dispute. Stating “see evidence” or not providing suggested damage amounts would be incorrect.
  • Damage arguments by filer or responder representatives should not include generic arguments, template-formed arguments, or additional liability arguments.
The Special Forum (Filing Paths, Filing Process, and Responding Process)
  • The UM Forum has been discontinued (the UM Forum only decided whether a responding company had a valid policy for a loss).
  • UMBI and UMPD have always been part of the Special Forum. UMBI and UMPD remain in the Special Forum and are filed under Third-Party Liability.
  • Special Forum case types are Third-Party Liability (contribution among co-defendants or concurrent coverage), Workers’ Compensation (negligence path only), and Non-Compulsory (NY PIP, Occupational Accident, and UIMBI/UIMPD).  
  • Non-Compulsory disputes do not fit into any existing forum. This type of case should not be filed unless there is consent from the responding company or companies. A responding company should raise a jurisdictional exclusion if they did not give consent to the filing.  
  • A damage dispute in the Special Forum allows a responding company to enter a proposed amount and provide a detailed damage dispute justification. Unlike in the Auto Forum, a responding company does not receive line item drop-down options to dispute damages. It is imperative that the filer and responder offer detailed justifications for the damages being sought and damages that are being challenged.
Post-decision Inquiries (Missed Evidence, Clerical Errors, and Jurisdictional Reviews)
  • AF may review a decision for a clerical and jurisdictional errors post hearing under Rule 4-2 for limited situations.
  • A post-decision inquiry (PDI) should not be filed when a company disagrees with an arbitrator’s decision or to reiterate a company’s position. These items are not reviewable post hearing. 
  • The filing and responding companies should name all parties to a loss when there is a policy limits issue. This allows the arbitrator to carefully review whether a filing would be within AF’s jurisdiction. A jurisdictional error does not occur when the filing or responding companies do not name all companies and/or provide additional exposures within a filing.   
  • Missed evidence is applicable when the arbitrator states an evidence item was missing or not provided in the filing when the evidence item was, in fact, present. An arbitrator not commenting on an evidence item in the liability or damage dispute decisions is not considered a missed evidence clerical error.  
  • Other examples of reviewable clerical errors are mathematical errors, switched parties, and misapplying an AF Rule or procedure.