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INSURANCE EXPERT WITNESS - Areas of Expertise

Agency and Company Operations
Every carrier has some system of product distribution. Some have employees; others have career agents who are technically not employees, while still others use a system of independent brokers. Within these broad categories there are many different types of producers depending on the distribution system used by the carrier. Some carriers have highly visible and well known agencies while others simply work to insert themselves and their products into the portfolio of independent producers and strive to develop relationships sufficiently strong to get a favorable chance at a producers’ business, based upon product competitiveness, compensation, underwriting requirements or other financial and non financial incentives. Often this last group of carriers will use some sort of marketing organization, an MGA or NMO to assist in bring their products to the attention of brokers.

All carriers have written guidelines and contracts outlining the rights and responsibilities of the producers and the carriers. They generally outline the duties each party is assuming by executing the contract and will be the basis for the ongoing relationship between the producer and the carrier. These written contracts will often be invoked in a defense or prosecution of a claim made for the failure to perform on one side or the other.

Internal company operations and procedures dictate how a carrier performs their respective duties and responsibilities to the “field”. Various departments within the company perform very specific tasks and often communicate directly with the producer in the process of writing or servicing a contract for insurance.

Most major functions of a carrier as it relates to its’ producers will be governed by a written set of rules and regulations to which both sides will be bound. These guidelines or manuals are extremely helpful in determining who was responsible for what and whether there was any deviation from the standard practice by either party in a given scenario.

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