The legislation and interpretation of the rules for insurers to adjust claims ought to be based on the policy of fast and justifiable payment. Upon this agreement, it is necessary to improve the status of insurers’ duty to adjust claims so as to better regulate the insurance claims. The endowment of such an independent duty contributes to rising to prominence in the legal system of claim settlement, which can also serve the purpose of defining the legal character of the duty to adjust claims and implement efficient claim settlements. The legal nature of the duty to adjust claims can be categorized as " obliegenheit”. In this case, insurers’ duty to adjust claims can be understood from the perspective of the rationale of the obliegenheit rather than trying to start from scratch. Thus, insurers’ duty to adjust claims would be integrated into the existing system. On the other hand, the obliegenheit could be strongly in support of the systemization of the rules concerning the duty to adjust claims. To establish whether an insurer breaches its duty, it is meaningful that the required time limits in law are employed to show if the insurer carries his duty to adjust claims. To be specific, in contrast with the current rule, the starting point for insurers to adjust claims should be set at the time the insured notice the insured risk to the insurer. Nevertheless, the 2009 amendment of finishing complicated adjustments in 30 days should be hold on in the insurance law. Additionally, extra requirement of the duty to inform concerning the insured risk should be added in the amendment of insurance law. Once an insurer breaches its duty to adjust claims, the insurer shall face the consequences of the deprivation of the capacity to adjust claims and possible compensation for damages. The deprivation of the capacity to adjust claims results from insurers’ indifference to the time limits set in law for insurers’ duty to adjust claims. As for the compensation for damages, it is because of the inextricable link of insurers’ duty to adjust claims and the following payment of the insurance money that makes compensation for damages possible. Moreover, insurers may bear spiritual damages and punitive damages for their bad faith tort so as to effectively protect the legitimate rights of the insured.
A Study of Insurers’ Duty to Adjust Claims
Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Vol. 21, Issue 03, pp. 136 - 152 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jsufe.2019.03.010
Cite this article
Li Fei. A Study of Insurers’ Duty to Adjust Claims[J]. Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 2019, 21(3): 136-152.
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