A conference on the law of claims practices
February 29, 2012
The ultimate test of an insurance policy comes when a claim is filed. An effective and fair process for investigating, evaluating, paying, and defending claims is at the core of the relationship between insurer and policyholder.
When insurance claims are made, disputes inevitably arise about whether the insurer has responded appropriately on behalf of its policyholder. In many jurisdictions, these disputes are governed by the law of insurance bad faith, defined by statute or common law and framed as breach of contract, tort, or other wrong.
The law governing claim practices is a constant source of controversy. Policyholder advocates argue that unfair claim practices are widespread and that their remedies are inadequate. Insurance companies respond that they generally treat policyholders fairly and excessive bad faith litigation imposes too heavy a burden on companies and ultimately policyholders. The judicial responses to these contending views have both broadened and narrowed the law of bad faith. Several state legislatures have waded into the dispute by enacting or considering statutes regulating claim practices.
This conference brings together legal academics, other scholars who study claim practices and their regulation, and practitioners to explore the present and future of the regulation of insurance claim practices.