Editor's Note: The following article has been contributed byBrian M. Farrell, the former Director of Litigation Managementfor Aetna. Now retired, Farrell spent more than 44 years in theclaims profession.

Over the years, claims handling has undergone significanttransformation. Specialization by line of business, regionalizationof claims operation centers, and a far greater reliance ontechnology are just a few of the changes we in the claims worldhave experienced. The typical claims adjuster role today is gearedto working at a desk and successfully leveraging technology. In thepast, there were considerably more claims field office locations,with adjusters spending significantly more time out of the officeconducting all facets of claims handling face toface.

Unfortunately, as our world evolves, many claims professionalsmay not be taking advantage of time-tested tools used in the lossresolution process. This is especially true as it concerns the useof structured settlements. About a year ago, I was briefing thehead of claims at a major casualty company concerning a high-valuecase on which I was brought on to review. As part of thesettlement strategy, I recommended starting the negotiation with acombination of cash and a structured settlement.

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