February 2020 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. A Call for Arbitrators
  2. Another Quality Year
  3. Reducing Cycle Time
  4. Adverse Party in TRS: Reading Arguments from Recovering Party
  5. Non-Compulsory Disputes in Special
  6. Valuable Studies

A Call for Arbitrators

We Want You!Additional arbitrator attention is needed to address the pending inventory of Online Filing cases. Along with the increased volume in TRS, the demand for arbitrators has never been greater!

One of the greatest benefits of TRS is the potential for reduced cycle time. However, the 1:1 heard-to-filed ratio for cases must be maintained for shorter cycle times to be achieved. That’s why the industry needs you.

Arbitrators’ contribution to the insurance industry results in:
  • Reducing case turnaround time
  • Reducing disputed claim-handling costs
Arbitrators become the in-house arbitration experts for their companies by:
  • Learning good and bad or alternative ways to prepare a file for arbitration
  • Becoming more familiar with AF's rules and regulations
  • Participating in focus groups on local issues
  • Sharing knowledge gained with others in the office
If you are interested in becoming an arbitrator, check out the eligibility criteria to get started. 
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Another Quality Year

Image of five gold stars lined upProviding arbitration services that efficiently and effectively meet our membership’s recovery and resolution needs is critical to Arbitration Forums, Inc. (AF)’s success, and we greatly appreciate the commitment of our member companies and arbitrators. Their partnership allows us to achieve this goal.

In 2019, 816,873 disputes were resolved. That’s an amazing number, and filing volume continues to grow.

We also implemented a Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®) Member Decision Review process to gather feedback on decision quality. Through this process, member representatives review a random sample of recent decisions. The arbitrator’s name is redacted to ensure objectivity since the arbitrator could be from the same company as the reviewer.

The feedback received from last year’s reviews was overwhelmingly positive. Over 90 percent of the decisions reviewed were deemed reasonable and clearly explained. These results give us confidence that arbitrators are providing quality decisions.

Quarterly reviews are scheduled in 2020.

More Quality News

Decision quality also means error-free decisions, and last year was a great year for that too. Thank you, again, to the arbitrators!

For TRS, approximately 5,300 post-decision inquiries were received. Of those reviewed, 50 percent were deemed to be final and binding; no correctible clerical or jurisdictional error was made by the arbitrator. Only 1,571 of the decisions were amended to correct an error. This represents less than one percent of the 236,759 TRS feature filings heard in 2019.

Before you submit a post-decision inquiry, please make sure a correctible error was made by the arbitrator. Submitting a post-decision inquiry due to decision disagreement delays our ability to amend correctible errors and expedite resolution of disputes. We thank you for your continued efforts in providing quality decisions.
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Reducing Cycle Time

Image of a clock next to a calendarCycle time is very important to our membership, and any delay in the payment of the award extends a case’s cycle time.

Of the 236,759 TRS feature filings heard in 2019, only 1,571 of the decisions qualified to be amended due to an arbitrator error. This represents less than one percent.

Other inquiries, especially requests for award payment assistance, are avoidable.

In OLF, the recovering party should refrain from requesting award pay assistance when there is a pending post-decision inquiry under review (see screenshot below); AF will not issue the request.
Screenshot of OLF

Our Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®) platform also alerts the parties when there is a pending post-decision inquiry, and it prevents the recovering party from issuing an Award Pay Reminder notification.
Screenshot of TRS

Screenshot of the Award Payment Reminder screen
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Adverse Party in TRS: Reading Arguments from Recovering Party

Image of two pawns on blocks of wood acros from each otherWe train responders on the importance of refuting the recovering party’s liability arguments, producing an effective case presentation.

With the deployment of TRS, reading other parties’ arguments has never been easier. Simply select the Show Adverse Party’s Arguments tab found under the Liability Arguments Workflow Step.

Screenshot of the Liability Arguments tab

Selecting this tab allows adverse parties to read the arguments raised by other companies named in this case.
Screenshot of the Liability Arguments section
To view liability arguments with more than two parties, select the drop-down arrow, then select the company’s arguments you want to review.
Screenshot illustrating the drop-down arrow
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Non-Compulsory Disputes in Special

Image of a blue car rear-ending a black carThere is a bit of mystery around Arbitration Forum, Inc. (AF)’s Special Forum. Many know it as a way to recover contribution for third-party damages, and it is often used for recovery under a concurrent coverage theory. Special is also a forum in which to file Workers Compensation and Construction Defect recovery actions. And, with the exception of cases in which a denial of coverage still stands from the tortfeasor’s carrier, Uninsured Motorist claim recovery can be filed in Special.

A highlight of the Special Forum is its allowance for non-compulsory disputes with written consent. In the Special Arbitration Agreement, it states that parties may have a case heard involving a non-signatory member in the forum. It also allows for the filing of claims that are “not included in this or any other existing Agreement.” In each case, the parties must agree and provide written consent to participate in such a hearing.

Our industry is changing based on new services and technologies around us. As claims handlers and subrogation professionals, we may run into cases that fall outside of AF’s Auto, PIP, Med Pay, or Property Forums. Consider that they may well have a home in our Special Arbitration Forum.
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Valuable Studies

AdvertisementNASP’s collection of Subrogation Benchmarking Studies are ready to go when you need them. From recoveries, to staffing, these detailed studies are the foundation to improving your business.

National Association of Subrogation Professionals
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