Events & Webinars

PC Webinar: The Reptile Theory v. The Honey Badger Response

November 13, 2018

Central to an insurance case are the adjusters and insurance professionals who are testifying and telling the insurance company’s story, ultimately conveying the insurance company’s decision making and claims handling process to a jury.  This course covers common tactics associated with preparing for providing testimony in cases involving insurance issues, alleged deceptive trade practices, unfair claim settlement practices and corporate ethics.  See28 TAC Section 19.1006(a)(1)(3)(4)(6).   This course will consider, in the context of litigated insurance cases, use and combatting The Reptile Theory as means for  insurance adjusters and corporate representative witnesses to prepare for and to testify at deposition and at trial considering insurance related content, themes, witnesses and exhibits.

After finishing this course, claims adjusters, claims litigation managers and other insurance professionals should possess the information, tools and additional resources to recognize Reptile tactics in early filing documents.  After finishing this course, claims adjusters, claims litigation managers and other insurance professionals should possess the information, tools and additional resources to combat if confronted with this tactic as the insurance professional prepares to be deposed as an insurance adjuster or corporate representative and as they prepare to testify in an insurance case at trial.

A.        Understanding The Psychology in Insurance Cases
We will identify the science and evidence supporting continued and increasing use of The Reptile Theory in litigated case, with emphasis on insurance cases and how an insurance professional can prepare for providing testimony at deposition and at trial.

B.        Ethical Considerations Associated With Reptile Theory in Insurance Cases
A primary theme found in plaintiff cases using The Reptile Theory is “the Defendant’s conduct threatens everyone’s safety. Conversely, The Honey Badger defense message, particularly in the context of insurance cases), rests on the plaintiffs own conduct and holds the plaintiff to a standard/contract/culpability and still appeal to the juror’s sense of right and wrong – “insurance companies must not pay for phony claims”.    We will discuss what is missing from these themes and trial presentations – namely respect, honesty, compassion and service.

C.        What Insurance Related Narratives Drive the Trial?
This presentation will consider common reptile themes in litigated insurance cases.  Common non-favorableiInsurance themes are entirely premised upon fear.  With respect to insurance cases, main themes to be discussed include:
            1.         People are at the mercy of insurance companies.
            2.         People should not have to fear increased rates when filing valid claims.
            3.         Insurance companies look for ways to deny claims because they can get awaywith it.

Insurance favorable themes are premised upon common interests and fundamental right/wrong.  Common Honey Badger Rules (Themes) include:
            1.         Unfortunately, a lot of dishonest people try to take advantage of insurance companies at the expense of everyone else.
            2.         It is important to investigate each claim to determine whether it is valid.
            3.         Insurance companies and their representatives are honest people who contribute to our community.

D.        Phases of Insurance Litigation
This presentation will identify key questions, words, phrases, concepts to be mindful of when the insurance professional is preparing for deposition; when the insurance professional is being deposed; and when the insurance professional is preparing for and testifying at trial in an insurance case.

This presentation also includes actual deposition and trial testimony providing examples of questions and productive responsives to insurance professionals to combat misleading theories as well as examples of  non-beneficial answers to deposition and trial questions.

Preview the presentation here.

If you would like more information about this presentation, please feel free to reach out to one of the related attorneys or contact Marketing at [email protected]

Firm Highlights


The 2020 HR Recap

We’ve made it to the recap episode! The good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. Join Kevin and Elaine (Lainey) Luthens as they discuss it all including FFCRA legislation, OSHA, what they...


Thompson Coe Obtains Texas Supreme Court Victory in Shooting Accident Suit


Concurrent Causation Is Key In Texas Storm Insurance Suits

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ran from June 1 to Nov. 30, was a record-setting year according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.[1] The season produced 30 named storms, including 13 hurricanes...

News Item

Thompson Coe Partner Gary Pate Wins Complete Defense Verdict in Bench Trial Involving Real Estate Dispute


Recruiting in 2021

What is Robert Half’s process? How do they make sure that you get the best candidate for the role? Join Kevin and Andrew McNaughtan, Director of Legal Permanent Placement from Robert Half, talk about the candidate...

News Item

Thompson Coe Attorneys Argue Before the Texas Supreme Court


Claims Handling & Litigation: 2021 Freeze and Power Outage Catastrophe


COVID-19 Response Team - Resources and Updates

News Item

Thompson Coe Among Most Active Insurance Litigation Firms in the US, Study finds.

Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons was named among the most active law firms for insurance litigation over the past three years, according to LexMachina’s 2021 Insurance Report. Other firms identified in the report include...


The COVID-19 Vaccine Part 2

The golden question: can you mandate the COVID-19 vaccine? EEOC has now given guidance surrounding vaccines in the workplace. Join Kevin Mosher and repeat guest, Stephanie Rojo from the Thompson Coe Austin office talk...