Claim Trends: What's Happening Now.

Aah, claims – a tricky part of the business that can be stressful and, at times, downright maddening, for member representatives.

While some comfort may be derived from reports that the number of civil jury trials in Iowa are reportedly decreasing, the same has not been said about the number of non-litigated claims or litigated claims that are resolved before trial. 

Amy Miner, ICAP Claims Manager, suggests it’s important we – members, agents, and claims reps included! – keep abreast of emerging areas of liability.  In fact, it’s important entities across the country stay up-to-date, as these areas of liability (and the other challenges they bring about) are affecting public entities nationwide. 

What emerging areas of liability?  Claims arising out of law enforcement activities, for a start.

You’ve probably seen reports of lawsuits arising from the use of tasers and body-worn cameras.  Or how about incidents involving allegations of excessive force?  They’ve been all over the news in recent years, because they’re a “hot button” topic – a claim trend that puts municipalities at risk.

Another claim trend to be aware of?  Cyber liability. 

We’ve all heard about the misuse of electronically stored non-public and confidential information.  Matters at issue with these claims include what information is stored, who has access to it, and what protections are in place.    Side note: did you know ICAP’s Loss Control Information Technology Specialist, Amanda Davros, can help your entity mitigate associated risks?

Oh, and how about the ways technology can open us up to potential liabilities arising out of auto accidents?  Yep, that’s a real risk, too.  And you are especially vulnerable if electronics are built into your fleet.  Why?  Because a claimant may argue that the electronics distracted your driver.   

Speaking of drivers, let’s talk about those who navigate drones – another developing risk category!  Public entities are beginning to use drones for a multitude of tasks – search and rescue, surveys, security, traffic, etc.  This is all great, BUT, municipalities should know liability may arise from such use, depending on issues such as who is being watched, why they are being watched, and what is being done with the recordings.

It’s a lot to take in, right?  Believe me, we know.  And we also know, for the general population, it can be difficult to stay on top of.  Fortunately, ICAP has a knowledgeable, professional team of loss control representatives who are able to assist you – and your member entity – in efforts to mitigate risks.

Have questions about this post or want to learn more?  Feel free to contact the Claims Department via 515-727-1594.  Prefer to chat with someone from the Loss Control Team?  Call 515-251-1730.