Upon receiving an assignment, we respond to the Insurer and contact the Insured quickly. We put the insured at ease, answer their questions about the process, and get the investigation rolling.
When appropriate, we contact the Claimant or their lawyer to manage the timeline and their expectations. For litigious claims, we request an extension of the deadline for filing a Defence. That allows the Insurer to defray legal costs for as long as possible. In many instances, we can resolve the claim before it becomes necessary for the Insurer to retain defence counsel.
Our investigation includes an in-person or telephone interview with the Insured and review of all relevant documents. Our experience allows us to quickly pinpoint the key issues. We know what questions to ask, and where to look for the answers.
We report promptly so that Insurers can make timely decisions. Our reports highlight all key issues, and contain clear and well-reasoned recommendations. Our reports:
- Provide an Executive Summary.
- Identify the parties involved, along with their lawyers and insurers, if applicable.
- Outline all the relevant facts, typically in chronological sequence.
- Highlight any coverage issues. If requested, we will also provide our in-depth analysis of policy coverage, with recommendations. The quality of our coverage analysis is second-to-none in the business.
- Contain a reasoned assessment of the Insured’s liability exposure. We consider contractual, tort and statutory factors in our assessment, along with the potential liability exposures of other parties.
- Provide an analysis of the damages, including an assessment of the amounts claimed, and consider whether or not there is a causal connection to the Insured’s alleged negligence.
- Assist in establishing reasonable reserves for indemnity payments and claim expenses.
- Provide our recommendations for the most cost-effective, reasonable and timely resolution of the claim.
If requested, we will draft a coverage letter for the Insurer’s issuance. Thereby, coverage issues are fully, clearly and tactfully explained to the Insured.
We work hard to understand the facts and the issues better than the Claimant or their lawyer. As such, in cases where the claim is poorly founded, we are often able to persuade the Claimant to drop their claim. In cases where the claim does have merit, we are adept at minimizing the settlement value and, with the Insurer’s authorization, negotiating a favourable resolution.
When the defence of a claim is assigned to a lawyer, we assist counsel to come up-to-speed on the file. We provide counsel with an organized Document Brief and copies of our reports. Thus, the lawyer’s time to learn the file is minimized. Lawyers often comment that we provide them with a full understanding of the case “on a silver platter”. Our process reduces legal fees, and allows the lawyer to act swiftly and decisively.
Upon request, we can assist defence counsel with document review, interviewing witnesses, expert retention, damages analysis and negotiation. Again, that saves on legal fees, and provides the Insurer with a second set of eyes on defence strategy.
We often attend settlement conferences and mediations to negotiate on the Insurer’s behalf. We have a reputation in the industry as tough negotiators, and we leverage that reputation to get the Insurer the best deal possible.
We actively follow up outstanding issues and provide regular updates to the Insurer. No file will fall into a “black hole” for lack of attention or reporting. We continually advance the file towards resolution. We answer the phone. We respond to emails. We get results.