Auto and Special Agreement Changes Coming Later This Year

Changes Coming in 2021Arbitration Forums, Inc. (AF)'s Board of Directors has approved changes to the Auto and Special Agreements. These changes would make the Auto forum the exclusive forum for automobile physical damage disputes, whether the disputed issue concerns negligence, damages, or concurrent coverage.

Through this change, AF aims to simplify forum selection and E-Subro Hub demand-to-arbitration transition for members by making the Automobile forum compulsory for all/any automobile physical damage disputes, including first party (subrogation), third-party settlement, and first- or third-party concurrent coverage. Special Arbitration would remain compulsory for disputes involving third-party BI settlements, non-automobile property damage contribution or concurrent coverage, and workers’ compensation subrogation.

Until this change becomes effective later this year, if these arbitrations are filed in Total Recovery Solution® (TRS®), they will be heard as long as the exclusion of Wrong Forum is waived or not asserted. This allows members to receive the cycle time and decision quality benefits of TRS before the agreement change occurs.

Please see below for the upcoming changes.

Article First: Auto and Special Agreements
Bolded text shows changes.

Auto
Signatory companies must forego litigation and arbitrate any personal, commercial, or self-insured automobile damage dispute to Arbitration Forums, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as AF) where:
(a) a subrogated insurer or self-insured seeks recovery from an at-fault party(ies); or
(b) upon settlement of a claim or suit, the liability of the respective parties must be determined; or
(c) each has issued separate policies of property or casualty insurance providing, or as a self-insured provides, concurrent coverage to the same party or parties asserted to cover an accident, occurrence, or event out of which a first- or third-party claim or suit for automobile damage arises.
Special
Upon settlement of a bodily injury or a non-automobile property damage claim or suit, signatory companies must submit any unresolved disputes to Arbitration Forums, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as AF) where:
(a) each has issued a policy of casualty insurance covering, or as a self-insured covers, one or more parties asserted to be legally liable for an accident, occurrence, or event out of which the claim or suit arises; or
(b) each has issued separate policies of property or casualty insurance providing, or as a self-insured provides, concurrent coverage to the same party or parties asserted to cover an accident, occurrence, or event out of which a first- or third-party claim or suit for bodily injury or property damage arises; or
(c) a workers’ compensation carrier or a self-insured seeks to recover reimbursement of workers’ compensation benefits from an alleged tortfeasor.
 


Article published in: January 2021 E-Bulletin