STATEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The purpose of this presentation is to teach lawyers and claims representatives about each of the key developments in suits brought directly against insurers and how developments in 2018 will continue to impact insurance cases moving forward.
A. Developments in First Party Litigation
Several key developments from 2017 made their first impacts in 2018. For example, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the standard of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. At the same time, recent changes to the Texas Insurance Code took effect and began impacting litigation. This topic will enhance attendee’s knowledge and understanding of Chapters 541 and 542 of the Texas Insurance Code, as well as ethical behaviors of insurance companies and adjusters in handling claims pursuant to these new guidelines.
B. Developments in Third Party Litigation
This topic will provide a survey of recent decisions from Texas courts and the Fifth Circuit that impact the interpretation of certain exclusions in commercial general liability and professional liability policies. Notably, many of the decisions involve high stakes claims, wherein courts construed exclusions broadly in favor of insurers to preclude the duty to defend and/or indemnify. Attendees will enhance their knowledge and understanding of recent developments in third-party claims, as well as ethical considerations in applying those new decisions during the day-to-day handling claims.
C. Developments in ERISA Litigation
A recent decision Ariana v. Humana Health Plan of Tex. out of the Fifth Circuit overruled twenty seven years of precedent and aligned the Fifth Circuit with nine other circuits in ruling that all aspects of ERISA benefit denials will be reviewed de novo unless the governing plan delegates discretionary authority to the claim administrator. This topic will provide predictions as to how the Ariana decision will impact ERISA litigation in Texas and advise insurers regarding how to mitigate its effects. This topic will also enhance attendees understanding of handling ERISA claims pursuant to Chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code, as well as corporate ethics in addressing employer benefit plans subject to ERISA’s terms.
Preview the presentation here.
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