Burand’s Agency E&O Blog: Tip #64
Confirmation That Suit Papers Have Been Received by the Carrier.While not an every day occurrence, most agencies receive suit papers from various parties several times a year and these papers must be forwarded to the applicable insurance company immediately. This seems like such a simple procedure that it could not possibly lead to an E&O claim but I’ve seen E&O claims result several times because the carrier claimed they did not get the suit papers.
Agencies usually email, fax, or send the papers by regular mail. All these methods may be acceptable if the agency receives proof positive documentation the insurance company has indeed received these important papers. Often an email from a specific recipient at the carrier will suffice. The E&O exposure arises when the agency does not receive verification from the carrier because regular fax receipts often are not upheld by courts because fax receipts are notoriously wrong. Everyone has seen fax receipts with the wrong dates. Similarly, too many crooks and unethical people have determined how to create fraudulent email receipts with normal email systems. So the typical receipts upon which agencies are depending are weak, which is a key reason agencies may lose these E&O cases.
The best solution is to send these important documents certified return receipt or use a certified email system that has proven its receipts will likely be upheld in court. Several such systems exist.