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A look at US insurance trends

Published on 15 July 2020

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This episode we are joined by Scott Seaman, co-chair of the insurance practice group at our US alliance firm Hinshaw & Culbertson. For this episode we will be looking at; social inflation, bad faith and punitive damages in the context of the US insurance market.

Scott starts off by explaining what social inflation is and why it has become an increasing issue facing insurers in the US. Scott broadly defines it as 'rising costs to insurers as a result of things like increasing litigation, broader areas of liability and larger compensatory jury awards in favour of the plaintiffs'.

We then look at what bad faith is and what is meant when someone is said to have acted in bad faith. Scott explains that bad faith is where a breach of duties takes place in the face of good faith and fair dealings, an implicit part of many states laws when it comes to contractual relationships. Scott then gives a recent example of where bad faith has come into play. 

Our final topic is punitive damages, Scott gives an overview of what is meant by this, simply put, the additional compensation due as a result of misconduct and wrong doing. Scott explains the different reasons for a punitive damages award and the trend in the US of these kind of compensation claims rising. 

We finish of by discussing what issues are likely to come to the forefront of US insurance in the future. 

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