January 2020 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Revisions to AF Agreements
  2. Arbitrators Needed: OLF Case Inventory
  3. January 25 Release Enhancements
  4. Which Forum Handles Rental Car Disputes?
  5. Print Case Functionality in TRS
  6. Valuable Studies

Revisions to AF Agreements

Image of someone signing a piece of paperUpdates to Article Fifth and Sixth of the AF Agreements have been made to include arbitrator participation. These changes will become effective March 1, 2020.

Article Fifth – AF’s Function and Authority
  • (c) determine qualification criteria, provide for the selection and appointment of arbitrators, and establish arbitrator participation requirements for the signatory companies;
Article Sixth – Arbitrator Participation
  • Signatory companies agree to provide qualified arbitrators from among full-time employees, and hear as many cases as they file.
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Arbitrators Needed: OLF Case Inventory

Image of three individuals at computersWhile no new Auto cases are being added to Online Filing (OLF), there remains a pending inventory of cases. These cases require additional arbitrator attention, and 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, in order for shorter times to be achieved, arbitrators must maintain a 1:1 filed-to-heard ratio on cases.

The revisions to the AF Agreements (effective March 1, 2020) address this requirement with the addition of Article Sixth – Arbitrator Participation, which states:
  • Signatory companies agree to provide qualified arbitrators from among full-time employees, and hear as many cases as they file.
We ask that every member commit with other member companies regarding the new Agreement by allocating resources to maintain the 1:1 ratio for TRS cases, while aiming to reduce the OLF inventory. 
 
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January 25 Release Enhancements

Image of business people reviewing a computer screenThe following enhancements will be deployed as part of the January 25 release.

Non-signatory Enhancements:
  • Parties will see new notifications when non-signatory consent is denied.
Duplicate Party Issues:
  • Users will see changes as a part of the ongoing efforts to reduce the number of issues around duplicate parties in TRS:
    • TRS users will now receive a warning message when they try to add a company that is already a named company on the case.
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Which Forum Handles Rental Car Disputes?

Image of cars lined up in a lotUnfortunately, there can be some confusion about which forum resolves disputes for damage to rental cars. Contractual liability is sometimes confused with a driver’s negligence in causing an auto accident, resulting in a case filed in the Auto Forum when it should have been filed in the Special Forum.
 
To determine where the dispute belongs, it is important to correctly identify the specific issue in dispute. When the dispute involves first-party coverage between a self-insured member and a member company providing the same first-party vehicle coverage (i.e., the renter), it is a concurrent coverage dispute and should be filed in the Special Forum, even if the only issue between the first-party companies is damages.
 
If the dispute involves liability based on a breach(es) of duty that caused resulting damage, (for example, who ran a red light and struck the parked rental car) the case is a liability dispute and should be filed in the Auto Forum. The Auto Forum was designed primarily to resolve liability disputes (disputes about causation), and the liability portion of the system in the Auto Forum addresses duties breached, not issues related to concurrent first-party coverage.

Responder Tip: The Auto Forum was designed to resolve disputes involving liability based on a breach(es) of duty that caused resulting damage. This is why the responding party is asked about its liability deductible, and not its collision (first-party) deductible. If the dispute involves concurrent coverage, even if the only issue is the amount of the damages, the responding party should raise a Jurisdictional Exclusion and redirect the filing party to file the dispute in the Special Forum in the Feature Response:
Screenshot of workflow steps 

Screenshot of the concurrent coverage option in jurisdictional exclusions

Filer Tip: Disputes involving concurrent coverage are resolved in the Special Forum, even if the only issue between the first-party carriers is damages. If a concurrent coverage dispute is filed in the Auto Forum incorrectly, the responding party can raise a Jurisdictional Exclusion and the case will be dismissed. Disputes involving concurrent coverage should be filed in the Special Forum to avoid a delay in the resolution process.
 
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Print Case Functionality in TRS

Follow the steps listed below to print cases in TRS.

Step 1:
Click on the blue ellipsis and select Print Case
Screenshot of the print case option
 
Step 2:
The print request can now be found under your login. Clicking your name, a drop-down will appear. Select Print Requests.
Screenshot of the print requests option
 
Step 3:
To save the document, select the PDF icon seen below.
Screenshot of the PDF icon on the Print Requests window
 
Step 4:
A Case Summary document will appear and can now be printed for your records. 
Screenshot of a case summary sample
 

 
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Valuable Studies

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800-574-9961
subrogation.org
 
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