Siver Insurance Consultants provides independent consulting services. Areas of specialization include property and liability insurance, employee benefits, life and health insurance. Since 1970, our clients have looked to us for objective advice and creative ideas to solve problems and make the best choices for managing risk, buying insurance and providing benefits.

The role of expert witness is often characterized as a litigation support activity. We suggest there is an emerging need for a higher form of litigation support for cases involving insurance and that this support should not be confined to expert testimony, but should also include a much broader involvement in the development and prosecution of a case. For this reason, the Siver counseling staff includes individuals who have JD degrees. The focus of the Siver litigation support services is to offer trial lawyers a resource that can furnish both consulting and expert witness services.

Areas of litigation in which Siver can offer assistance include:

Formulating damage theories involves a quantification of damages for the injury or harm caused. Estimating techniques, including the actuarial sciences, known to the insurance industry often are directly applicable to determining the amount that may be due the client. Deductible clauses, contribution, coinsurance and other insurance clauses, subrogation clauses, indemnity vs. pay-on-behalf-of agreements, excess policies versus umbrella policies, and similar industry practices are critical to establishing or limiting damages.

The organization of a claim by a plaintiff requires a thorough consideration of possible defenses that might be raised by the defendants. Insurance issues such as: no coverage, not a named insured, misrepresentation, untimely notice, false swearing, material increase in hazard, breach of warranty, accident vs. intentional occurrence, failure to cooperate, are illustrations that come to mind. All such potential issues should he identified and considered before a complaint is filed.

Lawyers save much time and expense if a complaint is right or essentially right, the first time. We can help the lawyers to focus on appropriate policy language and to avoid the claim being inartfully asserted by the plaintiff and misfiring because of policy exclusions, conditions and definitions. We can advise the lawyers what is significant about the relevant insurance relationships, who the relevant parties are, the documentation that defines the relevant insurance relationships and specifically, what kind of relief is needed to achieve the desired performance.

Important questions to be answered include:

  • What documents, records or other physical evidence are in the possession of the other parties?
  • What might those documents or other evidence show that might be helpful to the case?
  • Who should be deposed and what information might they have?
  • Who are the important witnesses?
  • What types of experts are needed and who are they? We strongly recommend that we be consulted before discovery is initiated in order to help plan the strategy. Our arrival to the case after discovery has begun or has been completed can be a problem if we identify insurance issues that have been missed. Many courts will limit repetitive discovery. Also, we can aid in formulating interrogatories and by attending depositions.

Our review of the insurance-related documents can save the lawyers considerable time because we are familiar with the terminology and format of many of the relevant documents. An initial review can help the lawyers in organizing the facts and determining what additional information is needed. Also, our experience will help identify more quickly incomplete or missing documentation.

We are familiar with a wide variety of reference and research tools that are intrinsic to the insurance industry. Information found in the Insurance Codes; Insurance Department Files; AM. Best, Standard & Poor’s Reports; trade publications such as National Underwriter, Business Insurance and the Journal of Commerce; educational publications such as FC&S Bulletins, Practical Risk Management, the Umbrella Book and our own reference files all contain potentially valuable information. Also, we can produce forms such as agency agreements, policy forms, endorsements, trust agreements, letters of credit, fronting agreements and reinsurance agreements. Also, we maintain a comprehensive insurance/legal reference library including Westlaw. Considerable time can be saved if the lawyers have access to broad research resources.

Insurance policies and related insurance/risk management documents are filled with terms of art. We can alert lawyers to the special meaning of terms, industry jargon, and what kinds of other coverages are likely to be available and/or applicable.

The business of insurance presents a very esoteric set of activities which are governed partially by regulators and the law, but, in large measure, are conducted in accordance with traditional, long-established, industry practices and customs.

In addition to ourselves, other experts may be needed to deal with certain issues: e.g. actuaries, loss control engineers, adjusters, reinsurance experts, agents, brokers, underwriters, regulators, systems experts, rating bureau personnel. We can assist the lawyer in locating such experts and in determining their respective fitness for the assignment.

Insurance issues are often difficult to present. The average juror finds the whole subject of insurance technical and hard to understand. We can help the lawyers reduce the concepts and important technical points to oral descriptions and exhibits that a court or jury can comprehend. We can help the lawyer fashion analogies that illustrate the important points. Inasmuch as we are trained to explain complex insurance matters to our corporate clients, we can assist the lawyer in preparing the case for trial.

OBJECTIVITY Siver acts solely in its capacity as insurance consultant and is compensated directly by the client on a fee-for-service basis. The firm does not participate in commissions from any insurance company, agent or broker, nor does it accept income other than from its clients.

Reach us at (727) 577-2780