Depositions of Insurance Claims Handlers or Representatives in Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation

Deposition Strategies From Perspectives of Both Insurers and Policyholders

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, April 20, 2017
Recorded event now available


This CLE webinar will discuss deposition strategies for both insurers and policyholders in defending or taking the deposition of the claims handler or representative. The program will also review communications between the claims handler and insurance counsel, and what communications may be protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or work product doctrine.

Description

A claims handler’s deposition is often pivotal evidence in an insurance coverage dispute, particularly where there are allegations of bad faith. The claims handler may be both a fact witness as well as the insurer’s corporate representative.

From the policyholder’s perspective, the claims representative has knowledge of how the claim was investigated and adjusted, as well as the basis for any reservation of rights. The claims representative will also have knowledge regarding the specific documents and information that were relied upon to make determinations regarding the extent of coverage and value of the loss.

From the insurer’s perspective, the performance of the claims representative in the deposition may significantly affect the case. This is particularly true in a bad faith case. The claims representative’s credibility, knowledge of the claims file and understanding of manuals and procedures is critical.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance practitioners guides you through strategies for taking or defending depositions of claims handlers or representatives. The panel will also discuss privileged communications between the claims handler and insurance counsel.

Outline

  1. Policyholder strategies
    1. Scope of testimony/knowledge
    2. Documents to review prior to deposition
    3. Presence of a bad faith claim
    4. Claims file
    5. How the claim was investigated
    6. Claims handling manuals and procedures
  2. Insurer strategies
    1. Determine relevancy of claims handler’s testimony (bad faith vs. policy interpretation)
    2. Knowledge of the claims file
    3. Knowledge of manuals and procedures
    4. Presenting the claims rep in light most favorable to the case
  3. Protections against disclosure and the role of outside coverage counsel
    1. Attorney-client privilege
    2. Work product doctrine

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Scope of claims representative’s testimony in coverage vs. bad faith claims
  • Keys to insurer’s determination of the relevancy of claims handler’s testimony
  • Documents for policyholder’s counsel to review prior to deposition
  • How insurer’s counsel can present the claims representative in a light most favorable to the case
  • Evidentiary protections arguably applicable to the claim file

Faculty

Susan Page White, Partner
Manatt Phelps & Phillips, Los Angeles

Ms. White conducts an active litigation practice, representing clients in complex insurance coverage matters, including bad faith and other commercial and contract litigation matters. Her clients span a range of industries, including healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, telecommunications, software and Internet technology, entertainment, aerospace, and financial services. She also provides advice to senior management and executives on how to mitigate risks and maximize insurance protections and recoveries with respect to policy procurement, negotiations, reviews, and renewals.

Christopher R. Weiss, Esq.
Goldberg Segalla, Newark, N.J.

Mr. Weiss focuses his practice on representing insurers in complex insurance coverage disputes. In addition to his work on behalf of insurers embroiled in matters arising from Superstorm Sandy, his experience also includes defending a range of entities and individuals in professional liability and premises liability actions.


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Program Materials

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Insurance Law Advisory Board

John Broghammer

Partner

Greve Clifford Wengel & Paras

Tred Eyerly

Director

Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

John D. Green

Partner

Farella Braun + Martel

Alan P. Jacobus

Lafayette & Kumagai

William E. Kelley, Jr.

Partner

Drewry Simmons Vornehm

William O. Krekstein

Partner

Timoney Knox

Jay M. Levin

Principal and Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice

Offit Kurman

Peter J. Mintzer

Partner

Selman Breitman

Barry S. Neuman

Partner

Whiteford Taylor Preston

Andrew G. Wanger

Partner

Clyde & Co.

Britton D. Weimer

Partner

Weimer & Weeding

Sandra I. Weishart

Partner

Hinshaw & Culbertson

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