Scary Trends in Insurance

CLM Members and Fellows share scary cases and trends

October 26, 2023 Photo

We asked CLM Members and Fellows: What was your scariest case/claim or what do you think is the scariest trend you’ve seen?

“My scariest case involved a wrongful death and quadriplegia lawsuit. I defended a transportation trucker/broker in an accident resulting from the driver my client contracted with. The victims were a young father, a young mother (who died instantly), and their three-year-old daughter, who escaped physical harm. The potential value at trial was over $30 million, but my client had only a million-dollar policy, which was rejected. We argued that the truck driver was an independent contractor. The jury returned a verdict of zero liability for my client. My client was overjoyed; I was just relieved!”

Charles Watkins, Equity Partner, Kubicki Draper. CLM Member since 2009.

“Although there can be many spooky parts about working as a construction-defect attorney, the latest scary trend I’ve come across is that plaintiffs are alleging fraud, disgorgement, elder abuse, and other causes of action to inflate their damages beyond what they would be able to recover for diminution in value or cost to repair. It is unsettling and often the allegations are unfounded.”

Hoosai Kabiri, Attorney, Kahana Feld, LLP. CLM Member since 2019.

“One of the scariest trends I have seen recently is the courts’ increasing inclination to place the obligation for traditionally ‘legal’ tasks on adjusters or, on the other hand, finding that an attorney retained to provide legal advice is acting as adjuster or claim investigator and, therefore, no attorney client privilege attaches to their communications.”

Sarannah McMurtrySVP, General Counsel, Acceptance Insurance. CLM Fellow since 2009.

“While I remain optimistic about the future of the claims industry, I am concerned by the lack of understanding and somewhat negative views many have about our profession. At its core, the claims profession is noble. It is comprised of hard working and dedicated professionals who are focused on helping people deal with difficult situations. This is the message that we must deliver as we look to attract talented individuals to pursue a career in claims.”

Christopher Carucci, Vice President, Client Services, Gallagher Bassett. CLM Fellow since 2008.


Number of trucking cases with verdict sizes over $1 million from 2005-2011. From 2012 to 2019, that number increased by 235% to 265 cases.

Source: ATRI


Ranking on Forrester’s trust index among auto and homeowners insurance customers. Insurers ranked below banks (63.9), credit card issuers (64.9), and investment firms (65).

Source: Forrester

About The Authors
Fran Clark

Fran Clark is specialty content manager at CLM.

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