Happy New Year!
OK I am a month late but better late than never eh?
Well that's fine I suppose for my New Year greetings but some things can't be late, like claim payments on ATE policies.
How many times have you completed a claim form and submitted it, only for the ATE insurance provider to ignore it for weeks and then perhaps ask for copies of the file or correspondence. Did you forget to tick that box on the form? Oh dear, never mind, I am sure the Defendant insurer will understand!
They don't though do they. Have you had any default costs orders against you due to your ATE insurer dragging their feet? Hurts doesn't it? If you are subject to an order you then worse still, you have to go back to your ATE insurance company and ask for a supplemental payment to cover the default costs order costs. That's another nice form to fill in.
This is all nonsense of course. When you have lost a case/hearing or have failed to beat a Part 36 offer, the adverse costs need to be paid promptly. You need to be confident that they will be paid otherwise you may begin to think, 'Are this insurers' After the Event policies worthless?' Ask your ATE insurance provider their payment statistics i.e. how long from receipt of a claim form do they pay out on average? If they won't tell you or they can't, watch out.
We constantly monitor this key statistic. Our current timescale is 6.7 days. Pretty good huh?
How do we improve on this? Well, one issue is getting the claim form to us in the first place. We have found that the post is sometimes a little slow (I am sure snow showers don't help) so, if a claim is urgent, we need to receive it electronically thereby cutting out DX or Post delivery times.
With this in mind, we are today launching our total electronic claims submission system (TECSS) (sorry just made that name up). It's not rocket science. We are just now moving to a totally electronic claims submission process whereby the sums claimed and court orders, disbursement vouchers etc can be uploaded and submitted on-line. This means we get the claim form instantly.
How do you upload your entire case file I hear you ask? Well, we don't need to see your file and never have had. Your costs were on the line so we assume you tried your best to win the case.
If you lose, you lose. If you lose, we pay up.