I will be speaking in an upcoming live web seminar entitled "Insurance Subrogation Challenges for Insurers and Policyholders" scheduled for Tuesday, November 16, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST. The scope of an insurer’s subrogation rights, generally a matter of state law, may be expanded or contracted depending on the language of the underlying policy. Understanding the interplay between subrogation law and policy language is critical–especially for policyholders who want to preserve and maximize their rights for recovery against third parties.

Waivers of subrogation rights are commonly found in most commercial contracts where one or both of the parties agree to waive all subrogation rights they may have against the other party. Using such boilerplate language can potentially create coverage problems. In addition, the law regarding apportionment of recovery, a critical and often contested issue, is mixed, not well established, and inconsistent among jurisdictions. Complicating issues include partial coverage and double-recovery.

The program will give an understanding of the critical principles of subrogation, the interplay of state law and contractual policy language, and complex issues that arise in apportioning recoveries between the insurer and policyholder. The following will be critically analyzed:

  • What are some of the underlying purposes and public policy benefits of subrogation?
  • What are the different types of subrogation?
  • What are the most common obstacles to successful subrogation from state to state and how can they be avoided or defeated?
  • How and when can waiver of subrogation agreements or endorsements get in the way of successful recoveries and what can we do to avoid them?
  • Who are the enemies of subrogation and what are the most popular arguments used against subrogation?

I am not a subrogation specialist. Fortunately, my co-panelist, Gary Wickert, is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on insurance subrogation. He is also the author of several subrogation books and legal treatises and is a national and international speaker and lecturer on subrogation. For once, I might not have the last word on an insurance topic.