Arbitration of Insurance Policy Disputes: Knowing the Advantages and Disadvantages in 2016 & Beyond
Many insurance policies contain an arbitration provision. Deciding whether to proceed to arbitration, when placing the policy or after denial of a claim, requires a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration.
Arbitration usually involves consensual agreement of both parties in a dispute to use an impartial, professional mediator whose decision is binding. There are significant perceived advantages to arbitration rather than litigation. These include neutrality, autonomy, procedural flexibility, enforceability, finality, reduced delays, and lower costs.
Arbitration eases party autonomy by allowing agreement on procedures, rules, and applicable laws. Finality infers a lack of extensive judicial review of arbitral awards. Owing to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, generally speaking it is easier to enforce foreign arbitral awards than the judgments of foreign courts.
However, Party autonomy, flexibility, and neutrality may reduce legal protections, thereby hurting the weaker litigant. Finality and enforceability also can limit legal recourse if the decision is viewed as unfair. Confidential limits use of statements in disputes and cases raised at a later date, and if the proceedings are complex, the duration increases and the costs rise.
The disadvantages can be particularly evident for insurance policy holders since the arbitration clauses often are written to benefit the insurance company. For example, some arbitration provisions eliminate contra proferentum for ambiguous language. Hence, caveat emptor.
If policyholders prefer arbitration, or cannot avoid it, an arbitrator is advantageous. But, in cases it may be wise to avoid arbitration or choose to buy insurance without such clauses
The Knowledge Group is producing a two-hour, LIVE Webcast entitled Arbitration of Insurance Policy Disputes: Knowing the Advantages and Disadvantages in 2016 & Beyond to help policy holders and others better understand and manage arbitration clauses in insurance policies. This interactive course will provide crucial information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration for various types of insurance policies and litigation cases.
In a two-hour live webcast, the speakers will discuss:
- Insurance Coverage Disputes – Legal Primer
- Arbitration Clauses in Insurance Policies
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Arbitration
- Unenforceable Policy Arbitration Clauses
- Regulatory Developments
- Subsequent Litigation Risks
Larry P. Schiffer, Partner
Squire Patton Boggs LLP
- Arbitration Pluses and Minuses
- Drafting the Arbitration Clause
- Enforceability of Arbitration
- Selecting the Arbitration Panel
Thomas Cunningham, Partner
Sidley Austin LLP
Enforcing or Challenging Arbitration Awards
- Applicable Law
- Statutory and Common Law Grounds
- Procedural Issues
Who Should Attend:
- Arbitration Attorneys
- Insurance Attorneys
- Insurance Agencies
- Other Related/Interested Professionals
Thomas D. Cunningham, a partner in Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago office, represents insurance and reinsurance companies in litigation, arbitration, regulatory investigations, and compliance matters. His practice encompasses the property and casualty and life and health fields. His current work includes TPA and agency disputes, advising life insurance in connection with unclaimed property investigations and litigations, and reinsurance disputes. He has been recognized by Chambers USA (since 2011) and was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (since 2011) in the field of insurance law. He earned his A.B., with high honors and high distinction, from the University of Michigan and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.
Thomas D. Cunningham, a partner in Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago office, represents insurance and reinsurance companies in litigation, arbitration, regulatory …
Larry P. Schiffer is a partner in the New York office of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, practicing commercial, insurance, and reinsurance litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He is active in legal and trade associations where he has held various leadership positions. He has lectured and has been widely published on reinsurance and other insurance topics. He serves as an Expert Commentator on reinsurance for IRMI.com and co-authored the chapter on reinsurance in the New York State Bar Association’s Insurance Law Practice treatise. Mr. Schiffer received his J.D. from Albany Law School, where he graduated cum laude, was a member of the Albany Law Review and a member of the Justinian Society, and received his B.A. magna cum laude from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He was admitted to practice in New York in 1980.
Larry P. Schiffer is a partner in the New York office of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, practicing commercial, insurance, …
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Method of Presentation:
On-demand Webcast (CLE)
NASBA Field of Study:
NY Category of CLE Credit:
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About Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP is one of the world’s premier law firms with 1,900 lawyers and 19 offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Sidley is one of only a few internationally recognized law firms to have a substantial, multidisciplinary practice devoted exclusively to the insurance and financial services industry. Sidley’s Insurance and Financial Services Group, with 100 lawyers worldwide, provides transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution services to the insurance industry in the areas of alternative risk transfer and other types of structured finance and securitization, securities offerings, M&A, reorganizations, investments, tax, reinsurance disputes, insurance company insolvencies and class action defense. Sidley was the only firm named “Insurance Powerhouse” in the BTI Client Relationship Scorecard 2014-2015: Ranking Law Firm Client Relationships. www.sidley.com.
About Squire Patton Boggs LLP
Squire Patton Boggs is one of the world’s strongest integrated legal practices. With 44 offices in 21 countries, the firm is renowned for its local connections and global influence, delivering comprehensive legal services across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. With expertise spanning all key sectors, the firm is also known for its preeminent public policy practice and deep-rooted relationships in Washington DC and Brussels.