May 2020 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Member Participation Policy Reminder
  2. Updates to AF's Arbitration Rules Effective August 1
  3. Considerations Regarding the Statute of Limitations when Filing Cases in TRS
  4. A Call for Arbitrators
  5. AF Transitioning to New Member Management Application

Member Participation Policy Reminder

Illustration of an two insurance people in front of an agreementArbitration Forums, Inc. (AF)’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of a member participation policy. This policy helps to ensure timely resolution of arbitration cases, improving intercompany relationships among insurance companies.

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 and are a vital force that makes the intercompany arbitration process such a success.

We ask that every member commit to other member companies regarding the new policy by allocating arbitrator resources to maintain its 1:1 heard-to-filed ratio. For questions, please contact our Member Service Center at 866-977-3434 or status@arbfile.org.
 
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Updates to AF's Arbitration Rules Effective August 1

Image of the word 'arbitration' highlighted in a dictionaryAF’s member council and Board of Directors approved the following updates to the Arbitration Rules. They will be effective for cases filed on and after August 1, 2020. NOTE: These updates do not apply to NY PIP arbitration filings, which are administered under separate rules.
  • Rule 3-3: The monetary limit to request a three-person panel is $15,000 for all forums.
  • Rule 5-3: For Auto supplemental filings, evidence submitted by the parties to support or dispute the supplemental damages will be viewable by the parties.
The Rules document and Reference Guide available on AF’s website will be updated as we near August 1, 2020.
 
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Considerations Regarding the Statute of Limitations when Filing Cases in TRS

Image of arrows on a road sign that read now and laterSometimes, a filer may wish to file a case and immediately defer it (e.g., if the statute of limitations for recovery is approaching and the reason for filing is to toll the statute). Basic information to notify the responder is all that is needed for the initial filing; full liability and/or damages arguments are not necessary. 

To file a case and immediately defer it, first complete the Incident Details workflow step. Then, go to Case Actions and select Add Deferment. Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®) will then prompt only the required fields needed to submit the case with a deferment:
Screenshot of the Case Actions option on the Incident Details and My Party Information screen

Screenshot of the Liability Arguments tab

Remaining aware of the statute of limitations is important for filers, because if a case has been filed, the option to defer will only appear if the responder did not answer the filing. If the responder filed its answer, the case is “Ready to Hear,” which means the case is immediately available for an arbitrator to hear it.
 
When filing a case, always consider the statute of limitations and whether it is approaching. If it is approaching, consider requesting the deferment immediately after it is submitted, as illustrated above. 
 
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A Call for Arbitrators

Image of light bulbs drawn on a chalkboard with the words Apply Now written under themAdditional 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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AF Transitioning to New Member Management Application

To continue to provide optimal security and an enhanced selection of features for our users, AF will be transitioning to the new Member Management application. 
Screenshot of the member management homepage

Member Management can be accessed from the Administration drop-down menu on the My Arbfile home page.
Screenshot of the menu with Member Management on it

While navigation will remain the same, Member Management includes several upgraded, easy-to-use features compared to previous user management tools.
  • The new application provides an enhanced UI, including a comprehensive interface to modify users and create passwords.
  • Users can be searched simply by typing the person’s first name, last name, email, or login ID. There is also advanced search functionality, which enables searching by many different fields such as business unit and administrators only.
  • The privileges assigned to a user show you which privilege group gave that user that privilege and which ones are directly assigned. 
  • Administrators will also be able to select multiple users to make changes to more than one user at a time. 

The current user maintenance application will be decommissioned this fall. Users are encouraged to begin the transition to the new member management application as soon as possible to limit any workflow impacts.

For more information, please view the guide available on our website.

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