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Analytics can help you navigate an ever-changing legal landscape

Court decisions can profoundly impact insurance companies, making it imperative for insurers to keep track of court decisions that may affect them in an ever-changing legal landscape.

Such decisions can dramatically influence how insurance companies may operate, from the type of exposures carriers are willing to insure to their reserve allocation strategies. They can even affect an insurer’s decision to write a specific risk from one day to the next.

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Given the widespread implications of legal outcomes, it’s important for insurers to stay on top of and understand the potential ramifications.

For example, maybe you’re looking to expand in the marketplace, but you want to make informed choices surrounding risk assessment and policy language. Perhaps you’re in claims management and want to assess the risk of heading to trial versus settling with the insured or reassess taking proactive actions to settle a claim. Maybe you’re on an underwriting or product team, looking to assess coverages and minimize overexposure. Perhaps you want to understand the worst-case scenario on risks from ever-increasing verdicts.

Given the widespread implications of legal outcomes, it’s important for insurers to stay on top of and understand the potential ramifications. But where do they look to obtain this information and minimize associated costs?

Traditionally, if performing certain case law research, you need to wait for counsel, while the attorneys complete preliminary leg work. Turning to outside counsel may lead to paying hefty legal fees and waiting for advice, which may result in missing an opportunity to get a leg up on performing your own due diligence.

Even if you try to do your own independent research, you may not know where to start. The difficulties in researching, organizing, and analyzing court decisions and verdicts can seem daunting. This includes making sure you’re searching for the correct terms, performing an insurance-specific search, and factoring in relevant exposures you may need to consider.

Consider legal decisions using quantitative and qualitative analytics

CourtSide™ can help insurers address those challenges. CourtSide is a legal analytics dashboard that helps insurers consider legal decisions and provides jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction analytics and scoring for cases related to relevant insurance topics through its qualitative Cases Database. It’s been enhanced by the addition of the CourtSide Verdict Database, which provides aggregate verdict information by jurisdiction and insurance topic to support insurers’ daily decision making and strategic planning. The database provides quantitative benefits for carriers by helping them to:

  • Consider potential exposures
  • Assist in addressing reserve allocations and settlements
  • Understand how exposure may change in different jurisdictions

Verdict amounts by insurance topic

The Verdict Database provides aggregate verdict data broken out by various coverage issues and state and federal courts. Comparing aggregate verdict data between state and federal courts can help to better understand various jurisdictions. The database provides average, median, range high, and range low verdict amounts for given coverage issues to assist insurers with product pivots and pricing reviews. CourtSide can also help insurers assess the effects of social inflation reflected in case law by examining verdict trends for select coverage issues over time.

Policy language addressed by decision

By searching for specific terms or by location, CourtSide can help you identify relevant cases and verdict information, which provide the specific policy language the courts interpret and apply in their decisions, and the court’s ruling to assess the significance of each verdict. By seeing the relevant policy language that the court applies in their decision, you can consider adjusting your own language in response to such outcomes. CourtSide provides nuclear verdict amounts for insurance topics.

Identify exclusions and endorsements

Using the database in combination with our aggregate verdict data, users can identify coverage issues, exclusions, and quantify potential exposure. This combination of datasets provides insurers with line of sight into judicial decisions on coverages for various jurisdictions. This can help insurers in a variety of ways, from understanding their risk, helping guide pricing strategies, considering territory expansion, and addressing coverage disputes.

Monitor trends at state and federal courts

CourtSide helps to monitor exposures by identifying trends at state and federal court levels for crucial coverage issues. It can help insurers understand the difference in exposure levels between state and federal courts for various coverage issues.

Get a head start on research

Completing your own initial due diligence can help you be more proactive. CourtSide provides qualitative and quantitative datasets for visibility into a variety of coverage issues. This can help you proactively address those coverage issues throughout the claim lifecycle, prior to litigation, and during the litigation process.

CourtSide can be incorporated into claims, underwriting, and product development activities to aid in developing policy language, and underwriting strategy. The platform also assists product development teams in monitoring coverage trends and coverage issues in various jurisdictions, and court decisions for ISO and non-ISO policy language. It can also help underwriting teams understand their exposure for several coverage issues in different jurisdictions and be useful in creating underwriting guidelines, product pivots, and pricing reviews. CourtSide can also aid in territory expansion analysis and reactive measures, like developing guidelines, product pivots, and pricing changes.

View our recent webinar, Legal Analytics: Incorporating Court Decisions for Better Insurance Decision Making, to learn more.


Rajan Gadhia

Rajan Gadhia is product manager of ISO commercial lines coverage products at Verisk. He can be reached at rajan.gadhia@verisk.com.

William P. Mauro

William P. Mauro is vice president and head of coverage for ISO commercial lines at Verisk. He can be reached at William.Mauro@verisk.com.


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