Forum Attendees Learn How To Reduce Inspection Liability Risks

By Thad Nosal  |  April 9, 2012

"Mean what you say, and say what you mean” was the concluding piece of advice ISO Assistant General Counsel John Halvorsen gave audience members in his session on reducing insurer liability from risk control inspections. The presentation was part of Mr. Halvorsen’s annual loss control law and regulation update at the E&S Loss Control Executive Forum held last month.

Awareness of potential third-party access to insurer inspection reports grew as a result of Solis v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. (2011 WL 1642534 (N.D. Ill) decided May 2, 2011), a case in which OSHA successfully subpoenaed an insurer’s risk control report. The greater access to and scrutiny of such materials may increase insurer exposure to liability for the reports. Mr. Halvorsen described commonsense approaches to manage the risk. In addition, he recommended clearly defining the purpose of the inspection and whom it is intended to benefit, precisely delineating the scope of activities, and using clear and accurate wording to describe the services. He also advocated involvement of insurer top management and legal departments as key to a successful program.

The Engineering and Safety Service hosts the forum to provide senior risk control personnel and invited guests with an opportunity to learn about emerging topics and to interact with their peers in an intimate setting. Beyond the law and regulation update, attendees gained insight into several other topics, including induced seismicity related to energy production and industrial activities, electrical installation standards for green technologies, new OSHA rules concerning the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Hazard Communication, and Underwriters Laboratories’ proposed Certified Risk Engineer program.

Planning is already under way for the 2013 forum, with dates tentatively set for the week of March 4, 2013. If you’d like to receive updates, send a note to

Thad Nosal

Thad Nosal is Director of Engineering and Safety Service at Verisk – insurance solutions.