September 2021 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Auto and Special Agreement Changes – An Update
  2. New TRS Filing and Responding Workflow Section
  3. NY PIP Link Coming Soon
  4. External Links in Evidence Files Prohibited
  5. NASP 2021 Annual Conference: Remember the Subro

Auto and Special Agreement Changes – An Update

Image of a business man typing at a laptopAs announced in the January E-Bulletin, Arbitration Forums, Inc. (AF)’s Board of Directors 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 third-party contribution or 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.

The changes will be implemented in two parts:
  • Effective December 2021, concurrent coverage disputes will become compulsory under the Auto forum.
  • Third-party contribution disputes will remain under the Special forum until 2022.
Below is the Agreement language that will go into effect.

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 through 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)    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 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 non-automobile 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.

Example Cases:
  • (Concurrent Coverage) A car being used as a temporary replacement vehicle is returned to the rental car company with moderate damage to the right quarter-panel. The renter's collision carrier denies the subrogation claim based on the insured's/renter's assertion that the damage was already there when the vehicle was rented. The matter will now be submitted under the Automobile Subrogation Arbitration Agreement.
  • (Contribution) Two vehicles collide and veer into a third vehicle resulting in injuries to the driver of the third vehicle as well as property damage. The carriers for the two vehicles can’t agree on the apportionment of liability. The case is settled with the third party on behalf of both vehicles and the case is submitted under the Special Arbitration to apportion liability and damages, if disputed.
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New TRS Filing and Responding Workflow Section

What's NewOn September 18, the Coverage Group will be combined with the new Right of Recovery drop-down menu into a section called Case Type, which will be at the top of the first page of both workflows.

Currently, the only option the initial filing user will have on the Right of Recovery drop-down is “Negligence.” This will be the default option and cannot be changed.

Once Concurrent Coverage/Priority of Payment functionality is released, the “Concurrent Coverage” option will appear in the Right of Recovery drop-down. 

Filing Workflow (shows user selecting Negligence):
Screenshot of the Incident Details and My Party Information highlighting the case type area
 

Response Workflow (for a Concurrent Coverage Case):
Screenshot of the Incident Details and My Party Information highlighting the case type area
 
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NY PIP Link Coming Soon

In the October 2 release, members will see a NY PIP link under the File Online Now. When users get to the Incident Info tab, they will notice that the Incident State is set to New York. 

Image of the File Online Now links

Image of the PIP Arbitration screen with an arrow pointing to the Incident State selected as New York
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External Links in Evidence Files Prohibited

Image of a stop signAF’s subrogation and arbitration applications allow for the upload of video files.*

For member system security reasons, AF does not accept links to external websites like YouTube (evidence containing embedded links is rejected by our system). If found, the links will be removed from evidence files and user-supplied text.

If a party is unable to upload video evidence due to file size or type limitations, it must declare the video evidence and request a personal appearance to present the video to the arbitrator. AF will contact the member representative to schedule a videoconference with the arbitrator.

* File size limitation is 40MB. Accepted file types are: .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mp4, .vob.
 
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NASP 2021 Annual Conference: Remember the Subro

Image of the cover of the NASP annual conference brochureNovember 8–10, 2021

The NASP 2021 Annual Conference will be held virtually.

Visit the NASP website to register and download conference brochures. 
 
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