March 2019 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Begin Your Transition to TRS Today!
  2. Video Evidence – What It Is and Isn't
  3. Preserving Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality

Begin Your Transition to TRS Today!

Image of a clock superimposed on other clocksAs you know, AF’s Online Filing (OLF) technology for all arbitration programs is being upgraded to the Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®) technology platform. The TRS platform is currently available for automobile subrogation arbitration program claims only (cases filed in our Auto program), and it will become the exclusive platform for all automobile subrogation claims by October 1, 2019.

Members who file in TRS today must initiate their cases in E-Subro Hub. Beginning April 29, 2019, members will have the option to file directly from TRS without pushing demands from E-Subro Hub.

Don’t wait until later this year to begin taking advantage of the benefits of TRS. Onboarding is simple. Contact us at 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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Video Evidence – What It Is and Isn't

Close-up image of a camera lensThe ability to upload and submit video evidence has been widely applauded by our membership, as it eliminates the need to schedule a date and time for a video conference in order to show the video to the arbitrator.

In a few cases, however, we have seen non-video evidence submitted as video evidence. Some recent examples include: a video of an audio cassette player playing a recorded statement and a video playing a voice message left by an insured.

To clarify, examples of appropriate video evidence include: dash-cam video of an accident, security video showing an accident, and video of an accident scene. In short, video evidence is something for the arbitrator to watch, not listen to.

In the case of evidence that is truly audio evidence (such as recorded statements or audio recordings), AF requires the written transcript of the recording be provided as evidence for the arbitrator to read. These items are not acceptable as video evidence and will not be considered by the arbitrator.
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Preserving Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality

Image of a laptop with the word privacy on the screenObjectivity, neutrality, and confidentiality are the foundations of a credible arbitration system. All decisions must be based solely on the arguments made in the contentions and the evidence submitted by the parties to avoid any perception of bias on the part of the arbitrator. An effort should also be made to keep confidential all information that could be used to personally identify someone in the process.

In addition, an arbitrator must excuse himself/herself from hearing a case if he or she has a direct or indirect interest in the outcome (financial, business, personal, or professional). We also recommend that arbitrators excuse themselves from hearing a case that involves a prior co-worker or claim adversary if their decision could create an appearance of impropriety.

AF policies also help ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our membership's data. The Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality statement reinforces to arbitrators that the information submitted by parties is private and confidential and may only be used to resolve the dispute. It may not be copied or printed or used for any other purpose.
Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality Statement
This decision is according to my understanding of the current local law and the facts presented. I may not render a decision on a case where I or my company is directly or indirectly interested, or where there is even an appearance of bias. Also, I understand as an arbitrator I will have access to confidential material involving company and/or insured information. All information related to this case will be utilized for the sole purpose of rendering this decision. I agree to protect the privacy, security, and confidentiality of all information related to this case. I affirm that I have read and understand the above.
For these reasons, arbitrators acknowledge the Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality Statement on each case they hear.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
AF policies prohibit the inclusion of PII when uploading evidence. PII can be defined as any information about an individual maintained by AF that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual‘s identity through a combination of the individual’s name and one or more of the following:
  1. Social security number
  2. Driver's license number or non-driver identification card number
  3. Account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual's financial account
  4. Any information regarding an individual’s medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis by a health care professional
  5. An individual’s health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number and any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify the individual
PII does not include information about an individual that has been made publicly available by a federal, state, or local governmental entity. PII also does not include information that is encrypted, secured, or modified by any other method or technology that removes elements that personally identify an individual or that otherwise renders the information unusable.
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