Monday, March 16, 2015

An Interesting Phone Call

I just received a very kind phone call, from an attorney who had retained my services as an expert in litigation over proper Workers Compensation insurance premiums. Based on technical input from me, the attorney just obtained a Summary Judgement that essentially told the insurance company to tear up their audit bill for an additional $350,000.00. The judge also had some harsh words for the insurance company, I am told. In this case, a business had an initial estimated premium of around $2,000.00. Years after the policy ended, the insurer re-figured the audit, claiming that the use of uninsured independent contractors justified approximately $350,000 in additional premium.

It was true that this company did use independent contractors--a fact they disclosed on their initial application. The policyholder did not realize that they could be liable for insurance charges from the use of these independent contractors, and the insurer also overlooked this when they underwrote the policy, audited it, and renewed it.

I was able to point out certain Illinois insurance regulations that addressed this issue, and that essentially limited the ability of the insurer to make such large premium increases so late in the game. The judge apparently agreed.

It is always gratifying to be of assistance to the court in understanding these technical issues, as oftentimes most people who possess such understanding work for the insurance industry, and thus it can place policyholders at an unfair disadvantage when disputing such matters in court.

The attorney was very kind in his phone call to me regarding my assistance in identifying how the insurer had failed to take into account these Illinois insurance regulations. In truth, I could only point out the technical issues--it took skilled legal work to produce this Summary Judgement outcome for the policyholder.

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