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The role of the third-party claim handler is to thoroughly and objectively investigate and resolve all issues of coverage, liability, and damages. Claim handlers enjoy arguing their theories on who is legally liable or responsible, and negotiating damage settlements. But few claim handlers will place explaining a coverage position on their list of favorite tasks because they are not as familiar and comfortable with writing a coverage position letter or explaining their coverage conclusions to the insured.

To address the situation, legal counsel is often asked to draft the letter, a sometimes dangerous practice because it could make legal counsel the actual claim handler. A safer practice is to have the draft letter reviewed by counsel. With that goal in mind, it is necessary to review the technical aspects of claim handling in relation to coverage position letters in order to offer practical advice on how to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

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