Claims & Litigation Management - Session 1 - Cybersecurity in the Post-Pandemic World: Not Another Dystopian Tale?
Monique Ferraro, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company
Joshua Mooney, White and Williams
Michael Phillips, Resilience
Judy Selby, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
The world changed. The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a Great Pause for onsite operations. Yet, the need for data privacy and security continued. In fact, the transition to a remote workforce placed greater pressures on data privacy and security, while at the same time new laws, like CCPA and the Shield Act, became enforceable. BIPA litigation remains strong, and employers are expected to gather sensitive, COVID-19 related information from employees and third parties as onsite activities resume. Not to mention it becoming more difficult to protect third-party forensic reports as privileged. This panel of experts is ready to talk about solutions and lessons learned.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Break
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 2 - Litigating in the World of Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies
Thomas Fama, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Rose Hall, AXA XL
Steve Lokus, Navigators, A Brand of The Hartford
Raymond Weisse, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Following up on last year’s well received panel discussion of “Keeping up with the Techies,” this panel will double down on the discussion of construction technology and narrow the focus on what’s next in terms of litigating in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With software developed to learn and adapt, see things we can’t see, or perform everyday duties, construction is no longer only completed with an engineer and a slide rule, brick walls built by masons, or oversight by an actual person. We have predictive design software performing engineering, robots as brick masons, and software systems monitoring on-site personnel. Tomorrow is today. The use for such technology has emerged on construction sites, but has not been exploited to-date from the post-loss, insurance side. The desks of claims professionals, attorneys, and experts should expect an increased volume of claims that involve such technological innovations, data produced from such innovations, and technology itself. As an industry, we must pivot our thinking and align ourselves with such technological innovations by having the foresight to see what’s next, while exploiting the data more effectively and efficiently. Soon the insurance industry will openly embrace technology and leverage it’s use in adjusting claims, making legal arguments, and providing experts untapped data to present to the jury.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Break
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 3 - How Debts and Financial Hardships (Will Continue to) Shape The Claims Process
Michael Handler, Forsberg & Umlauf PS
Aisling Jumper, Sedgwick
Andrea Williams, Liberty Mutual
Debts and financial hardships are eternal sources of pressure on insurance coverage claimants. When the COVID-19 pandemic shook the United States’ economy in early 2020, with stay-at-home orders, reduced public activity, and reduced (or ceased) incomes of businesses and individuals, mountains of debt did not disappear. Instead, debts continued to pile up, affecting more insureds than ever, with no end in sight.
This expert panel will share strategies crafted to reduce insurers’ exposure, at each phase of the claims process, to allegations of mishandling the interests of claimants that are subject to financial pressures. This will include consideration of how coverage might be impacted under the policy, techniques to prevent litigation or minimize damages, and procedural and substantive litigation strategies.
These first-party and third-party claims representatives, and their counsel, will identify their recent experiences, and the applicable, developing law.
Claims & Litigation Management - Networking
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 4 - Off and On the Record Dialogue and the Impact of Protected Communication in Mediations
Sarah Abrams, Markel Service, Incorporated
John Hanlon, Selective Insurance Company of America
William Nebeker, Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP
Rebekah Ratliff, Capital City Mediations, LLC
This session will explore the interplay between claims professionals, attorneys, mediators, and insureds as they navigate through disputed claims. In today’s dynamic world, the legal profession has been changing to allow law firms to include non-professional business partners. What impact does that have on the traditional mediation and settlement privileges? Additionally, in extra contractual cases, there may exist defenses that include the use of privileged communications. What effect can the disclosure of those communications have when used in a mediation setting or settlement posturing?Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Session 1 - We Will Not Be Bullied...Carriers Have A Right To Defend Claims!
Mary Beiter, PURE Insurance
Dan Brunson, American Access Casualty Company
Christopher Greene, Canal Insurance Company
Ronna Ruppelt, Good2Go Auto Insurance
Bharat Varadachari, HeplerBroom LLC
Every claim presents carriers with unique obstacles -- not typically faced by businesses in other industries -- when making decisions that affect both its customers and the bottom line. When determining whether to deny, settle, or reserve rights on a third-party bodily injury claim, the carrier's decisions are scrutinized by those hoping to find the slightest misstep with the purpose of substantially increasing its value at the carrier's expense. This situation has been further compounded by numerous appellate courts across the country that, instead of applying the law as they should, have significantly expanded the potential for bad faith litigation while trying to limit reasonable actions the carrier can take in assessing these claims. For the better part of twenty years, courts at every level have increasingly tried to pressure carriers to pay claims whether the language of the policy and/or the facts of case merit the same. The panel, consisting of experts in the industry, will provide workable solutions to counter the ever-growing obstacles faced by carriers and defense counsel in various stages of a claim, i.e.: pre-suit, the discovery process after a lawsuit has been filed, and alternative-dispute resolution.Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Break
Extra-Contractual - Session 2 - The Risks Inherent in Delayed Offers to Settle a Catastrophic Case
Joshua Adkins, The General Insurance
Ellen Fine, ProSight Specialty Insurance
Joe Hassinger, Galloway
Leslie Pollie, Kopka Pinkus Dolin
Is there a pre-demand duty to offer the policy limits? What would justify such a duty? What are the risks of delaying an offer once the risks are clear. Some states allow a duty to arise before there is a demand. This panel of lawyers, insurance executives, mediator, and judge will discuss the circumstances that may lead to a bad faith verdict against an insurer. They will offer practical suggestions to avoid the risk.Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Break
Extra-Contractual - Session 3 - When Frenemies Unite: Working with Independent Defense Counsel to Ensure Good Faith Claims Handling
Janet Foster, Auto Club of Southern California
Sarannah McMurtry, Acceptance Auto Insurance
Julie Weerth, Chubb
Michael L. Young, HeplerBroom LLC
For a liability insurance company, working with independent defense counsel can be...a challenge. It also can present opportunities for effective resolution of claims while lessening the risk of extracontractual liability. This session will discuss when an insured is entitled to independent defense counsel, the obligation of the carrier to pay a reasonable attorney fee, the role of billing guidelines in this tripartite relationship, and the insurer’s participation in the defense of the case when independent counsel is warranted. The panel will address how the insurer’s ability to navigate these issues can help it meet its good faith claims handling obligations. It also will discuss how an insurer’s coordination with independent counsel on coverage, defense and settlement issues can help resolve claims and ensure good faith claims handling.Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Networking
Extra-Contractual - Session 4 - Year in Review: Part One
Bradly Moore, Kopka Pinkus Dolin
Raymond Tittmann, TittmannWeix
R. Wade Vandiver, Argo Group US
Jennifer Wojciechowski, Community Association Underwriters of America, Inc.
Extra-Contractual - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 1 - Revisiting Extrinsic Evidence in Insurance Coverage Cases
Christopher Carucci, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
George Jackson, Bush & Ramirez, PLLC
Harrison Yoss, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
Courts from different jurisdictions treat the use of extrinsic evidence in duty to defend cases differently. Some allow extrinsic evidence, and some do not. This session will focus on recent decisions from different jurisdictions and try to make sense of when and how to use extrinsic evidence.Back to top
Insurance Coverage - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 2 - The Changing Climate of an Insurer's Duty to Defend: Recent Exceptions and Avoiding Traps for Bad Faith
Jamie Carsey, Markel Service, Incorporated
Christina Culver, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
Stanley Greenspan, Crum & Forster
Michele Wojcik, Nuzzo & Roberts, L.L.C.
Plan to discuss the changing climate on a national basis of the eight corners rule for an insurer’s duty to defend, and recent state high court and federal exceptions to the rule, including the Texas Supreme Court’s exception for collusive fraud. Look more closely at how claims professionals should analyze any exceptions to the rule and correctly reserve any rights. This panel also will provide claims professionals with an understanding of the interplay between anti-indemnity statutes and reserving rights to deny coverage. Concluding with a discussion of how claims professionals can avoid traps for potential bad faith arising out of the duty to defend based on this changing climate.Back to top
Insurance Coverage - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 3 - Social Accountability in the Boardroom: Good for Business or Just Creating New Professional Lines Headaches?
Chen Foley, Liberty Specialty Markets Agency
Jan Haylett, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
Eric Scheiner, Kennedys
With the increase in proactive stances companies are taking to address social issues, it's critical for claims handlers and underwriters to understand the possible impacts for them. Join this discussion about how corporate social accountability can impact D&O, EPL, and Wage and Hour claim trends with respect to a variety of issues including, climate change, event-driven litigation, social media/privacy concerns, sexual harassment, and wage and hours laws.Back to top
Insurance Coverage - Networking
Insurance Coverage - Session 4 - Property Conditions: Let's Tango!
Shelli Hula, AmTrust North America
Eric J. Stockel, Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier, PLLC
Rhonda Thompson, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
Claire Winston, Geovera Advantage Insurance Services, Inc.
The panel will focus on common policy conditions contained in various commercial and residential property forms (ISO, State Approved, Manuscript). The primary, although not exclusive, context of the discussion will be on policy conditions arising in property claims, reliance on the conditions, and investigation tools associated with the conditions. Panelists will identify jurisdictions where prejudice is required and provide "real life" experiences about when/how prejudice is demonstrated. The audience will be invited to play an interactive game (consistent with our theme) focused on the key topics covered, earning points to successfully complete their Tango.Back to top