When an insurance company receives notice of a claim, there are a number of individuals who will ultimately work on or handle the claim in one way or another. Insurance companies, like many other types of corporate entities, typically have a hierarchy of employees. Claims departments, in particular, are made up of a number of different individuals with varying titles and responsibilities. The varying levels of personnel involved with a claim might shed some light on the manner in which the claim was handled and whether it was handled properly. In a bad faith case, a policyholder’s attorney should be aware, not only of the people who handled the claim at issue, but also of the lines of authority and reporting procedures for those claims personnel.


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In Plaintiffs are Entitled to the Claims File in a Bad Faith Lawsuit, The Big Picture in Discovery of Insurer Claims Practices, Overcoming Work Product Objections that Relate to an Insurer’s Claims Investigation, and Reserves Are Important in Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claim Disputes, I addressed different kinds of documents that policyholders’ attorneys should seek from an insurance company in a bad faith action. Documents that are frequently the subject of heated discovery battles in bad faith actions include, among other things, an insurance company’s claims file and training manuals and documents regarding employee performance evaluations and incentives. Insurance companies typically prepare these manuals to train their employees to make certain that they are complying with the carrier’s business goals, as well as with applicable statutes and regulations. Similarly, some insurers also prepare manuals to assist their agents and provide guidance as to how the insurer wants things done.


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Safeco Insurance Company cancelled depositions in a Texas insurance litigation matter yesterday. So, we spent the day working on Safeco and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company discovery and networking with other consumer attorneys who are helping clients with Safeco and Liberty Mutual claims problems. The collegiality of policyholder attorneys helping each other is refreshing. The Texas plaintiff’s bar is very good at this.


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The best way to prepare for an insurance settlement is to prepare the case for trial. Trying to predict what would probably happen at trial is a great way to gauge the value of an insurance dispute.

I am writing this while flying to New Orleans for a mediation tomorrow morning. This blog post may be removed if the matter settles–so read quickly.


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