As previously communicated, AF implemented a quarterly quality assessment process. The process is intended to measure the overall quality produced by our membership and to provide AF feedback on our efforts to partner with our membership to improve quality.
We have completed the second quarter Quality Review for 2022. The review showed a slight overall improvement for filers and responders. Provided below are opportunities for filers and responders.
Filer Insights: Damages Justification/Dispute Rebuttal should be specific to disputed damages
One of the fundamental points of filing arbitration is to collect the damages paid in a loss. When damages are disputed, the arbitrator will look to the recovering party’s counter arguments to decide the amount of damages to award, if any. The Damages Justification/Dispute Rebuttal arguments are to be specific regarding the damages in dispute. Generic, template arguments should not be used. The arguments can be made in the initial filing if the disputed damages are known, or, during a revisit after the response has been submitted. An example would be a known dispute regarding rental duration. The filing company’s justification/rebuttal would explain the reason for the length of rental. The arguments might include a supported parts delay notification, notes from the repair facility, missed repair hours from a supplemental estimate, a holiday in the timeline, etc. Simply noting that the company “is a reputable insurer that paid the rental in good faith and in accordance with accepted industry standards and practices” provides no relevant information to the arbitrator to make a proper award.
Responder Insights: Itemize disputed damages, where appropriate
Responders are missing opportunities to assist arbitrators with determining what is owed in a damage dispute. Responding companies disputing damages often do not provide enough information to show the arbitrator how they arrived at their suggested dollar amount(s). Providing the reason for the dispute, along with an itemized proposed dollar amount, is beneficial. A responder needs to remember the recommended amount may include taxes, fees, charges, etc., that are not readily visible to an arbitrator. It is advantageous for responders to point these items out within the damage dispute. Arbitrators find specified itemizations to be beneficial. This allows the arbitrator to verify the amounts and make a proper award.