If liability insurers and defendants want to turn the tide of social inflation, they need to come together as teammates with a solid game plan, a reinsurance claims executive said recently.

Executive Summary

In a series of articles, a reinsurance claims manager, an insurance research analyst, a litigation consultancy and reinsurance company chief executives discuss the drivers of social inflation, concluding that the trajectory of liability damages will continue spiraling upward post-COVID and recommend defense and insurer strategies for change. They advise strategies that focus on presenting better stories paying attention to confirmation biases, investing in more witness preparation, offering damage amounts even if the defendant has no liability and working to improve corporate images. (Part 1 of a Series)

Agreeing with other experts speaking at a reinsurance seminar that the pandemic may actually increase levels of social inflation that were already impacting U.S. casualty insurers and reinsurers prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Dana Franzetti, a claims manager in Swiss Re’s U.S. Property & Casualty Claims department, described how plaintiffs lawyers decided to coordinate rather than compete with one another about a decade ago to counteract the impacts of tort reform.

“Plaintiffs attorneys will text each other when they have an opening or a closing argument to give in a case—and they’ll show up for each other. They will show up and, much like a wedding, will sit on the side of the plaintiff in street clothes,” she said. “It sends a subliminal message to the jury that this is an important case and that we sit behind the plaintiff,” she said.

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