March 2020 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Member Participation Policy
  2. A Call for Arbitrators
  3. TRS Case IDs Explained
  4. Preserving Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality
  5. Valuable Studies

Member Participation Policy

Illustration of papersIn October 2019, Arbitration Forum (AF)’s Board of Directors approved a proposal to restore an arbitrator participation requirement to the agreements to convey to the signatories their commitment to each other to provide qualified arbitrators who make sincere efforts to hear cases. The Board also recently approved the establishment of a member participation policy. This policy, along with the changes to the agreements, helps to ensure timely resolution of arbitration cases.

Effective June 2, 2020, AF is implementing the Member Participation Policy

Since the founding of Arbitration Forums by the casualty insurance industry in 1943, member arbitrators have served as an alternative to costly litigation, improving intercompany relationships among insurance companies. Member arbitrators are a vital force that makes the intercompany arbitration process such a success. While AF provides staff arbitrators as a way to supplement high demand, it is ultimately the responsibility of members to commit to other member companies to hear cases.

We ask that every member commit to other member companies regarding the new policy and revised agreements by allocating arbitrator resources to maintain their 1:1 heard-to-filed ratio. For questions, please contact our Member Service Center at 866-977-3434 or
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A Call for Arbitrators

Image of a hand holding a puzzle pieceAdditional 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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TRS Case IDs Explained

You might think the series of numbers and letters found within TRS Case IDs are arbitrary. To the contrary, these characters provide us with valuable information to help identify the case origin, case sequence, damages, and counterclaims all at a glance.

The chart below outlines the unique characters and what they represent. 
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Preserving Neutrality, Privacy, and Confidentiality

Image of a padlock on top of a keyboardObjectivity, 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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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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