July 2019 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Time is Running Out – Join TRS Today!
  2. Member Feedback Drives Enhanced Functionality
  3. Upcoming TRS Q&A
  4. TRS Enhancement: Withdrawn Feature Filing
  5. Part II: Salvage Pending? No Problem!
  6. Decision Published – Who Owes What
  7. Expand Your Arbitrator Experience – We Need You!
  8. Open Post-Decision Inquires in TRS

Time is Running Out – Join TRS Today!

Image of a hourglass in front of a calendarBy October 1, 2019, all automobile subrogation arbitration program cases will be filed in TRS. Don’t wait until later this year to begin taking advantage of the benefits of TRS.

Onboarding is simple. Contact us at support@arbfile.org to begin your transition today!

Our members have asked if AF is considering changes to extensions and revisits. Yes, we are. Extensions and revisits are one of many topics we will continue to work with the membership and our Board of Directors to evaluate throughout 2019. We anticipate completing the evaluation with our members and Board to determine the best solution for extensions and revisits at the beginning of Q4 2019. These changes, and others, will be based on the needs of the membership as a whole and the long-term benefits our members expect from the TRS technology platform.
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Member Feedback Drives Enhanced Functionality

FeedbackTotal Recovery Solution® (TRS®) was designed to give a recovering party the option to revisit a filing should the responding party dispute the damages sought. Our participating TRS members told us that they would like to present their damages justification in their filing, if they will be disputed. This eliminates the need for the seven-day revisit time, which accelerates resolution of the dispute.

The ability to include a Damages Justification/Dispute Rebuttal when submitting a filing will be available on August 26.

Screenshot of the damages justification field
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Upcoming TRS Q&A

Image of the letters Q and A in chat bubblesDo you have questions about TRS? Join us for a live Q&A!

We will be hosting a 30-minute webinar geared toward members who are not currently participating in TRS and are interested in learning more and/or have questions about TRS. Sign up for the webinar.

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TRS Enhancement: Withdrawn Feature Filing

Image of a business man looking at a laptop screenAn enhancement was recently made that allows a responding party to access and view a feature filing that was withdrawn by the recovering party. Previously, the responding party could search for and view the status of the filing, but could not access it to print the case overview, if needed.
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Part II: Salvage Pending? No Problem!

Image of cars in a salvage yardIn last month’s E-Bulletin, we addressed the necessity for liability to be resolved prior to a responder submitting a total loss feature where salvage is pending.

Now, we’ll address how to submit the feature damages if settlement is not reached with the original filing party.

Assuming recovery is permissible based on the liability decision, select Pending then Edit Feature.
Screenshot of the salvage pending menu options

If necessary, modify the previously entered amounts and enter the salvage information in the fields provided.
Screenshot of the valuation

Submit your pending feature.
Image of the filing summary screen

Remember, since liability has already been resolved, responders should only submit pending features where damages are being disputed.
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Decision Published – Who Owes What

Image of a man thinking in front of a drawing of the scales of justiceOn occasion, we receive inquiries asking for clarification on a decision, specifically which party owes what amount. This article will clarify the information shared on a TRS decision.

In the scenario below, Alpha sought recovery from Beta for damage to its 2017 Ford feature in the amount of $2,000 plus $500 deductible. The arbitrator decided that Beta was 100 percent liable, and all damages were proven.

Per the Award Summary, Beta (the Payer) is to send $2,500 to Alpha (the Payee) using Alpha’s “Remit Payment To:” address. No award is owed by Alpha for Beta’s feature.
Screenshot of an Award Summary

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Expand Your Arbitrator Experience – We Need You!

Image of business people sitting around a deskThe ability to request a three-person panel and/or personal appearance in Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®) was implemented in February 2019 and has quickly become a popular option among filers and responders. This functionality, along with increasing filing volume and the forthcoming Auto Forum upgrade from Online Filing (OLF) to TRS scheduled for October 1, will significantly increase the number of TRS-eligible cases and TRS usage. The need for member arbitrators has never been greater!

If you are an arbitrator interested in hearing cases as part of a three-person panel or involving a personal appearance, please advise your AF Arbitration Manager, so he or she can update your profile.

Some useful information:
  • Participation on a three-person panel provides a great learning and growth opportunity by allowing you to discuss a case with peer arbitrators from different companies across the country.
  • All three-person panels and personally represented cases are heard telephonically on a date/time acceptable by the arbitrators and/or appearing representative.
  • The volume of personal appearances in the Auto program has historically been nominal, and we do not foresee a change simply because the functionality exists. Most member companies do not see the need to have a representative take the time to appear before the arbitrator(s) when the case is supposed to “speak for itself.”
  • The duration of appearances is not long. Rule 3-7 provides that no oral arguments are allowed; a party may only clarify, at the arbitrator’s request, its arguments and/or evidence. If the arbitrator(s) has no questions, the call is ended.
  • A three-person panel may only be requested if the Total Company-Paid Damages are $7,500 or higher.
  • The duration of a three-person panel hearing will vary based on the complexity of the case, but the collaborative time needed will be limited because the arbitrators will thoroughly review the case prior to the call. The purpose of the hearing is to deliberate and reach a final decision.
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Open Post-Decision Inquires in TRS

Image of a light bulb with the words helpful tipsMembers can determine whether a case includes a Post-Decision Inquiry (PDI) by viewing the Decision Actions section in the Case Summary. An Open PDI indicator will be displayed if a PDI has been opened on a case.

View the screenshot below for more details.
Image of the Case Summary Screen
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