February 2015 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Credit for Prior Payments
  2. Evidence Considerations: Providing Sufficient Evidence
  3. Training Opportunities
  4. Don't Miss It! NASP Subrogation Litigation: Skills and Management Conference

Credit for Prior Payments

Before arbitration is filed, the parties may come to enough of an agreement that payments are exchanged, either between the carriers or from one of the carriers to the other's insured for the out-of-pocket expenses and/or the deductible. In these cases, it is important for the award to reflect these payments, so none of the parties becomes unduly enriched.

Paid stamp graphicTo consider any prior payment for credit, it must be listed and submitted as evidence. Credit can be applied if: (1) the Applicant enters a prior payment by the Respondent in the "Payments Accepted" field or (2) a Respondent enters an "Amount Paid to Applicant Company" and/or "Deductible Amount Paid to Applicant's Insured" AND submits proof of the prior payment(s) that clearly shows the check has been cashed/honored (payee information). If entries are correctly made in these fields and evidence submitted to support them, the arbitrator will be able to apply the credit and enter an accurate award. If entries are not made in these fields or evidence is not submitted, a credit may not be applied, and the award amount will not be accurate. AF will not amend the award after the hearing in these instances, since this is not the result of a clerical/jurisdictional error by the arbitrator. It will be incumbent upon the parties to amicably resolve any post-decision issue pertaining to the prior payment and award amount owed. This will be true even if a party references the prior payment in its contentions but does not make the appropriate entries.

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Evidence Considerations: Providing Sufficient Evidence

Part 5 of the Evidence Considerations Series

Evidence is crucial in preparing a persuasive case of damages. At times, liability may not be disputed, but the other carrier challenges the amount of damages being sought. When presenting a total loss evaluation, it is important to include sufficient supporting details to justify how the settlement figure was determined. What do we mean by "sufficient evidence"?

Man using a magnifying glass to inspect documentsAn independent evaluation is crucial and should include all possible inspection attributes such as mileage, prior damages, equipment, conditions of the interior and exterior, etc. In addition, be sure to itemize all other costs such as taxes, fees, and licensing.

If all of these items are detailed from a personal inspection, the responding carrier will have less to dispute and even less of a chance of proving your evaluation to be insufficient. It is not unusual for a carrier to dispute the duration of rental. It is imperative to provide timely adjuster's notes as well as summaries of discussions with the shop and/or rental company that explain any and all possible delays.

With properly detailed evidence, the subrogation and arbitration professional will be able to easily prepare a compelling case of liability and/or damages, which should translate to greater subrogation recoveries for the company that he or she represents. Remember, as the front-line claims handler, you play the key role in gathering pertinent evidence and documenting your claim file accordingly.

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Training Opportunities

Man using a laptopWhether you are filing for the first time or want a refresher course, these interactive, instructor-led Webinars offer valuable information on filing and responding to claims. Sign up today on the AF Web site!

Arbitration Rules and Terms
Mar. 6, 2 PM EDT

Upon completion of this 60-minute Webinar, learners will be able to better explain and apply the key rules and terms of AF's intercompany arbitration programs.

Writing Effective Contentions (Filing Company)
Mar. 24, 11 AM EDT

Develop the skills you need to prepare an effective case by learning how to write an introductory statement, body, and closing statement, and discover how to use the "linking" technique to support each allegation with specific evidence. An activity is included to provide learners with the opportunity to apply the content discussed.

Writing Effective Contentions (Responder Company)
Mar. 24, 2 PM EDT

Develop the skills you need to effectively respond to a filing by learning how to write an introductory statement, body, and closing statement, and discover how to use the "linking" technique to support each allegation made with specific evidence. Also includes discussion on affirmative defenses and disputing damages.

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Don't Miss It! NASP Subrogation Litigation: Skills and Management Conference

Image of NASP conference flyer

The Meritage Resort — Napa, CA
Mar. 19-20, 2015
Register today!

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