Learn Tools and Tactics to Steer Clear of Insurance Bad Faith
Behind every denial of defense, coverage, or settlement lies the potential for a bad faith claim. With the threat of excess judgments and punitive damages looming, claims professionals and attorneys need to work together to prevent claimants and plaintiffs from crying bad faith. Whether the claim falls under a first-party or third-party policy, this detailed seminar will prepare you to avoid and counter bad faith allegations. Our experienced faculty will show you how to screen cases for bad faith potential, document your investigation, and develop tools to deny bad faith in court. Learn both offensive and defensive strategies to keep bad faith at bay. Register today!
- Recognize how the insurer's duty to investigate, defend, and settle can become the basis for bad faith claims.
- Learn to spot the signs of first-party loss claim that might be headed toward a bad faith allegation.
- Find out which components in a settlement demand letter require extra caution from the claims manager and the attorney.
- Prepare to evaluate the risk that a claim will end up with an excess judgment.
- Discover best practices for documenting the claims investigation to protect the insurer from bad faith.
- Understand a variety of powerful defenses to counter a bad faith claim at trial.
- Avoid ethical pitfalls when handling the original claim during bad faith litigation.
- Bad Faith Law and the Origin of the Set-Up
9:00 - 10:00, Daniel F. Sullivan and Gregory P. Varga
- Who is Liable for Bad Faith?
- Breach of Contract vs. Tort
- Duty to Investigate
- Duty to Defend and Indemnify: Interpreting Policy Language
- Legal Basis for Insurer's Duty to Settle
- Insured's Duty to Cooperate
- Who Pays for an Excess Judgment?
- Problematic First-Party Loss Claims
10:15 - 11:00, Elizabeth F. Ahlstrand
- Failure to Provide Proper Notice of Claim
- Incomplete Documentation of Loss
- Is the Claim Unreasonable Given the Extent of Documented Loss or Injury?
- Watching Out for Inconsistencies
- Investigating the Insured: Previous Claims and Financial Status
- Recognize an Unreasonable Third-Party Demand
11:00 - 11:45, Joseph J. Blyskal and Greil I. Roberts
- Conditions Beyond Payment Within Policy Limits
- Demand Made Without a Release
- Lack of Proper Information to Support the Demand
- Time Limit Demand: What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?
- Will the Court Apply the Mirror Image Rule?
- Beware of Ambiguous Demand Letters
- Is Any Demand Beyond Policy Limits Automatically Unreasonable?
- Consent Judgment and Collusive Settlement Set-Up
- Covenant-not-to-Execute Against the Insured
- Assigning Right to Enforce the Judgment Against the Insurer
- Stipulations that Weaken the Case Against Coverage
- How to Respond to a Potential Bad Faith Set-Up
12:45 - 1:30, Melicent B. Thompson
- Duty to Inform Claimant of Benefits and Policy Limits
- Evaluating the Risk of an Excess Judgment
- Defending the Insured under a Reservation of Rights
- Initiating Settlement Negotiations
- Making a Counter Offer
- Obtaining a Release of the Insured
- Issues with Multiple Defendants or Claimants
- Responding to an Unreasonable Consent Judgment
- Proper Investigation and Documentation
1:30 - 2:15, Daniel F. Sullivan and Gregory P. Varga
- Steps You Can Take Before Receiving the Demand
- Defense Counsel's Evaluation of the Settlement Demand Amount
- Looking for Other Insurance Coverage
- What are the Covered Damages?
- How to Properly Document the Investigation and Analysis of the Claim
- Discovery of the Claim File: Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product
- Defenses in a Bad Faith Suit
2:30 - 3:30, Joseph J. Blyskal and Greil I. Roberts
- What Damages are Available in Bad Faith Claims?
- Mediation of the Bad Faith Case
- Considerations for Bifurcation of Coverage and Bad Faith Cases
- Strategies for Summary Judgment Motions
- Using Pre-Trial Stipulations to Your Advantage
- Countering the Bad Faith Expert Witness
- Advice of Counsel as a Defense of Denial
- Showing Fraud by the Insured
- Addressing the Alleged Set-Up: Can You Claim Reverse Bad Faith?
- Insurer's Burden of Proof at Trial
- Convincing the Jury of Good Faith Settlement Efforts
3:30 - 4:30, Melicent B. Thompson
- Handling the Original Claim During Bad Faith Litigation
- Tripartite Relationship
- Ethical Practices for Investigating Claims
- Lawyers as Witnesses
- Following the Independent Counsel Doctrine
- Burning Limits Policies
- Defending Multiple Insureds
- Malpractice Danger for Attorneys Retained by Insurers
This intermediate level seminar will show attorneys and insurance professionals how to recognize, avoid, and challenge potential bad faith actions in first- and third-party claims handling.