Auto warranty contracts, which are also called motor vehicle service agreements or vehicle protection products, generally refer to vehicle protection devices or systems that are (i) installed or applied to an auto, (ii) designed to prevent theft of the auto and (iii) carry a written warranty.
Examples of anti-theft devices include alarms, steering locks, window etch products, ignition locks, fuel and ignition kill switches and certain electronic tracking devices to aid in the recovery of the stolen vehicle.
Does not include Vehicle (Factory) or Extended Warranties. As used in this document, the term “auto warranties” does not include warranties auto manufacturers provide with respect to the car itself (so-called “factory warranties”; e.g., the transmission is warranted for 100,000 miles) nor does it include so-called extended warranties. Instead, this discussion and my related expertise applies to devices added on to the vehicle typically after manufacturing that are often referred to as anti-theft devices.
In general, the related warranty provides that if the vehicle protection product fails, to prevent loss or damage to the vehicle, the warranty holder shall be paid specified monies upon such failure.
I have considerable experience as to such warranties and have testified as an expert as to these warranties, by whatever name.
That expertise is based in part on my background as set forth in my curriculum vitae as well as my background as further articulated below.
1. Bachelors Degree in Mathematics. I hold a bachelors degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of Northern Iowa;
2. Masters Degree in Psychology. I hold a masters degree in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii; and
3. Juris Doctor’s Degree. I hold a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois.
B. Licensure and Certification.
4. Certified Reinsurance Arbitrator. I am certified by ARIAS as one of about 200 U.S. certified reinsurance arbitrators and routinely sit on property casualty cases ;
5. Admitted to Practice Law. I am licensed and admitted to practice law upon examination in the states of Iowa, Illinois and Florida; and
6. Admitted to Practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. I am also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
C. Warranty/Insurance Expert. Given the relationship of auto warranties to insurance (it is noted that few if any states provide that such warranties constitute contracts of insurance), my background in insurance is set out here.
7. Expert Witness: Florida. I have served as an expert witness in several cases throughout the U.S. and have been qualified at trial as an expert witness in more than 25, including the state of Florida. Along these lines, I have been retained on a number of auto warranty matters.
Warranty Expert Witness. Along these same lines, I have been retained as an expert witness in connection with warranty matters.
8. Insurance Consultant to the U.S. Attorney. By way of example of my various assignments, I have been retained by the U.S. Attorney, the Middle District of Florida, as an insurance consultant in a complex civil insurance matter.
9. Insurance Consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice. Similarly, I have also been retained by the U.S. Department of Justice as an insurance consultant in a complex insurance case relating to insurer solvency.
Air Force: Property Casualty Expert. In addition, I have served as the Air Force’s lead insurance expert in a complex property casualty matter (specifically a CGL case relating to California rocket manufacturer’s exposure relating back to the 1960s).
10. Expert Witness: on Behalf of Various Departments of Insurance. I have also been retained as an expert witness by the: (i) Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“FL OIR”) and recently testified on their behalf in Florida both in state and federal court, and (ii) the Arizona Department of Insurance and testified on their behalf. Along these same lines, I have testified as an expert before the following Departments of Insurance: Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma, among others.
D. Industry Background: Reinsurance Arbitrator.
11. Reinsurance Arbitrator: Property Casualty Cases. November 2003 to Present. My background includes extensive exposure to the various reinsurance mechanisms and relationships. Along these same lines and as indicated above, I am a certified ARIAS-US reinsurance arbitrator (see immediately below) and have sat as an arbitrator in cases between property casualty insurers (who issue auto policies) and their reinsurers. Similarly, I have sat as an arbitrator in connection with cases in which property casualty insurers were either the moving or responding party. The relevance of this experience is that reinsurers have substantial influence on the claim standards of underlying insurers.
As of November 2003, I was certified by AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, United States (“ARIAS-US”) as an arbitrator for reinsurance and insurance matters. Today, there are about 200 individuals so certified by ARIAS in the United States.
ARIAS-US certifies knowledgeable and reputable professionals for service as panel members in reinsurance and insurance arbitration matters. The organization’s criteria for certification are as follows:
- 10 years of significant specialization in the insurance/reinsurance industry;
- Arbitration experience – must have completed appropriate credited ARIAS seminars;
- A member in good standing of ARIAS-US;
- Appropriate endorsement from existing members.
12. CEO of a Major US Insurance Organization: Domiciled in Florida; Regulated Throughout the U.S.: President and Chief Executive Office of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (“NCCI”; 1990 – 1998). NCCI is one of the larger and more pervasive U.S. insurance organizations. During my tenure as President and CEO, NCCI had (and continues to have) responsibility to accurately price and file pricing for some $12 - $15 billion of workers compensation insurance in 39 states throughout the U.S. NCCI prepared proposed premium filings for regulators to approve by extracting key data from its 600 member insurance companies and then used that data to project necessary premium changes. NCCI accomplished this mission through some 1,000 employees of which approximately 600 were professionals, and had an annual revenues of $140 million.
Insurance Program: Property Casualty Insurers. As CEO, I had daily exposure and responsibilities to the U.S. workers compensation program as administered by the various states, which constitutes one of the largest property casualty insurance programs in the world with some 100 million worker lives insured (in addition, of course, other important coverages are provided through workers compensation, most notably life insurance, wage replacement and medical coverage). The same insurers who issue auto policies likely also issue workers compensation policies.
Claim Settlement Practices: Warranty Companies. In addition, NCCI had a vested interest in member insurer underwriting and claim practices (including issues of set off) in that the industry’s reputation for fair underwriting and claim settlement practices ultimately impacted regulatory attitudes toward NCCI’s premium approval process.
Industry Standards of Practice: Property Casualty Insurers. While President and CEO of NCCI, I visited and physically toured and reviewed in excess of 400 insurance companies and gained direct exposure to the procedures and processes and standard industry practices of the U.S. insurance community and its underwriting and claim settlement practices. I have had extensive exposure to insurer practices and procedures.
Warranties: Familiar with the Various State’s Regulatory Scheme. While CEO of NCCI, it was (and remains) licensed to do business in about 40 states as the state’s workers’ compensation rate-making and underwriting organization. In that capacity, my company, NCCI, was subject to licensure by the various state Departments of Insurance (“DOIs”) and was subject as well to the regulatory scrutiny of those DOIs as well as being subject to all applicable provisions of the various state’s Insurance Codes. NCCI was also subject to state and federal jurisdiction as to all such states.
As such, I am familiar with the regulatory and statutory scheme that is brought to bear on insurance in the state. I state this because in those states with active warranty regulation, most frequently, warranties are regulated by the DOIs. Along these lines, see e.g., among others, the laws of Florida, Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin, each of which provide significant regulation of these warranties.
13. General Counsel and Director of Government Relations to the American Academy of Actuaries (Washington D.C.), 1980 – 1983. I served as General Counsel and Director of Government Relations for the American Academy of Actuaries, including advising on admissions, discipline, and federal antitrust and general corporate law. I represented the 10,000 member professional organization before Congress (e.g., Senate Committees on Banking, Commerce, Finance and Labor, and House committees on Education, Labor, Energy, and Ways and Means) and the various federal regulatory agencies.
Warranties. The Academy is the professional organization of actuaries and includes qualified actuaries from all disciplines and all forms of insurers. Academy members included affiliation with virtually every warranty company in America. The Academy’s Board of Directors was likewise made up of leading insurance company executives from such companies.
14. Risk Metrics Corporation. I co-founded this Florida based information company in 1998. Risk Metrics (including Datalister, Inc.) gathers and sells public data relating to workers compensation to a wide range of insurance oriented customers, including insurance agents. Within the last few years, I have sold my interest in this corporation.
15. Attorney in Private Practice. As an attorney in private practice, I represented a number of agent and insurer interests and became familiar with applicable regulatory and industry standards of practice. Those interests included the position of Iowa Counsel to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
Warranty Issues. Those interests also included intimate involvement with CGL insurance, as counsel to the:
- Professional Insurance Agents of Iowa and
- Iowa Association of Life Underwriters (life, health and annuity insurance agents).
Specific duties as counsel at both the Professional Insurance Agents of Iowa (who sold, among other coverages, commercial property insurance) and the Iowa Association of Life Underwriters (life, health and annuity insurance agents) included in-depth familiarity with property insurers, their agents and their claim settlement practices.
16. Warranties: Specific Regulatory Authority over Warranties: Commissioner of Insurance, Iowa 1986 – 1990. As Insurance Commissioner appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in July 1986, I was responsible for the regulatory oversight of all insurance companies, agents and brokers authorized to conduct business in the state of Iowa. My agency was responsible for solvency oversight, insurance company examinations, financial and accounting matters of insurance companies, consumer protection, agent and broker licensing, and oversight of the property casualty insurance company claim settlement practices.
In particular, that oversight included the responsibility of overseeing home warranties as regulated under Chapter 523C of the Iowa Insurance Code and vehicle service contracts under Chapter 516E of the Iowa Insurance Code. In addition, I oversaw the state regulation of the securities industry with Iowa’s Superintendent of Securities reporting directly to me.
Warranties: Home Warranties and Motor Vehicle Service Contracts. As Insurance Commissioner, I had day-to-day responsibility to enforce the provisions of the Iowa law relating to home warranties and motor vehicle service contracts. This responsibility included executing the various duties under governing statutes and regulations. I am very familiar with motor vehicle service contracts. The regulatory scheme in place in Iowa is similar to that of Florida.
Contracts of Insurance. In addition to expertise as to policy forms and coverage issues, as Insurance Commissioner, my responsibilities included oversight of all contracts of insurance. I am very familiar with contracts of insurance and when an agreement is or is not insurance.
Warranties: Examination of Warranty Companies. As Insurance Commissioner, I directed and oversaw the examination of all companies issuing auto warranties in the State of Iowa. Those examinations included focus on both financial matters.
Warranties: Prosecution of Violations of Motor Vehicle Service Law. Such exam findings could result in bringing formal administrative actions against such warranty companies. Further, as Insurance Commissioner, I employed a full time team of lawyers who fielded consumer complaints relating to all areas of jurisdiction, including motor vehicle service contracts. Indeed, many of these complaints as well as results of Market Conduct Examinations resulted in formal action under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act with the provider’s license to conduct business in the state at risk for failing to adhere to their duties. From time to time, I served as the Hearing Officer as to such matters.
Policy Forms and Policy Language. As Insurance Commissioner, I had day to day responsibility to approve (or disapprove, as required) tens of thousands of policy forms. That responsibility included the review of every word and every phrase and every sentence and every paragraph and every page and every symbol on every proposed policy form. I know property casualty policy forms.
Property Casualty Pricing. As Insurance Commissioner, I had daily responsibility to administer the pricing scheme that came to bear on all property casualty coverage sold in the state, including that of automobile coverage.
Major Insurance State. Iowa has about 1,000 authorized property casualty insurance companies and over 500 life insurance companies and an unusually large number of domestic insurance companies and as such insurance regulation in that state is a serious job.
17. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), 1986 – 1990. Concurrent with my service as Iowa Insurance Commissioner, I served as a member of the NAIC. The NAIC is an organization of the Insurance Commissioners of all 50 states and meets quarterly in locations throughout the U.S. to consider and evaluate national insurance issues. Further, the organization is professionally staffed with more than one hundred personnel. The organization is based in Kansas City, Missouri. The NAIC considers all major insurance issues and then promulgates model insurance laws and regulations, which are then routinely (but optionally) adopted at the individual state level.
NAIC Chairmanships – Chairman of the Midwest Zone. I was elected by my fellow Insurance Commissioners from the Midwest Zone (composed of the Midwest states, constituting about one quarter of all of the states) to provide leadership and representation of the Midwest before the balance of the states. This position included a position on the Executive Committee of the NAIC as well as major responsibilities relating to the assignment of states (and their related examiners) to specific examinations, both triennial and Market Conduct.
Warranties: NAIC Leadership: Member of the Executive Committee. I also served as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the NAIC, the body that served as the steering committee of the organization, providing leadership between full membership meetings and providing recommendations to the full membership as to complex or politically charged issues within the organization, including auto warranties.
Other NAIC Chairmanships: I also served in a number of NAIC capacities including Chairman of the Financial Services and Insurance Regulation Task Force.
Member, Commercial Lines Committee. In addition, I served as a member of the NAIC Commercial Lines Committee. This committee considered all issues relating to commercial lines policies.
In addition, my service on the following NAIC Committees was also helpful in this regard:
- Member, the Blanks Committee
- Member, Guarantee Fund Committee
- Member, Rehabilitator and Liquidators Committee
- Member, Casualty Actuarial Committee
- Member, Commercial Lines Committee
- Member, Valuation of Securities Committee
- Member, International Insurance Relations Committee
- Member, Accounting Practices and Procedures Committee and
- Member, State and Federal Legislative Committee.
NAIC Chairmanships – Chair of the Life Insurance Committee. As a member of the NAIC, I served as both Vice Chairman and Chairman of the NAIC Life Insurance Committee. The charge of this Committee was oversight of all issues relating to life insurance products (including illustrations) as well as life insurers.
NAIC Chairmanships: Chair of the Universal Life Insurance Task Force. In addition to chairing the Life Insurance Committee, I also chaired the Universal Life Insurance Task Force.
NAIC Chairmanships: Chair of the Life Insurance Product Development Task Force. I also chaired the Life Insurance Product Development Task Force. While chairman of this task force, I led the development of model disclosure statements for universal and indeterminate premium life products designed to assist consumers in their comparison of different types of interest sensitive life insurance products.
Ongoing Regulatory Involvement. In the years since leaving the regulatory ranks, I have continued to be closely involved with the NAIC and the regulatory community. As President and CEO of NCCI, I was in regular attendance at meetings of the NAIC and continue to attend these meetings and to be actively engaged with the regulatory process.
18. First Deputy Iowa Insurance Commissioner, 1976 – 1978. As First Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I had oversight responsibility for all facets of insurance regulation, including oversight of the property casualty division, the life health division, agent licensing, consumer complaints and motor vehicle service contracts. As First Deputy Commissioner, the functions of overseeing all aspects of property casualty insurers and motor vehicle service contracts fell to me.
Warranties: Specific Statutory Authority: Home Warranties and Motor Vehicle Service Contracts. As Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I had day-to-day responsibility to enforce the provisions of the Iowa law relating to home warranties and motor vehicle service contracts. This responsibility included executing the various duties under governing statutes and regulations. I am very familiar with motor vehicle service contracts. The regulatory scheme in place in Iowa is similar to that of Florida.
Contracts of Insurance. In addition to expertise as to policy forms and coverage issues, as Deputy Insurance Commissioner, my responsibilities included oversight over all contracts of insurance. I am very familiar with contracts of insurance and when an agreement is or is not insurance.
Examination of Warranty Companies. As Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I directed and oversaw the examination of all warranty companies authorized to do business in the State of Iowa. Those examinations included focus on both financial matters and examinations of specific complaints about warranty companies (so called Market Conduct Examinations).
Warranties: Prosecution of Violations of Home Warranty and Motor Vehicle Service Warranty Companies. Such exam findings could result in bringing formal administrative actions against such insurers. Further, as Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I employed a full time team of lawyers who fielded consumer complaints relating to all areas of jurisdiction, including home warranty and motor vehicle service contracts. Indeed, many of these complaints as well as results of Market Conduct Examinations resulted in formal action under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act with the provider’s license to conduct business in the state at risk for failing to adhere to their duties. From time to time, I served as the Hearing Officer as to such matters.
Policy Forms and Policy Language. As Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I had day to day responsibility to approve (or disapprove, as required) tens of thousands of policy forms. That responsibility included the review of every word and every phrase and every sentence and every paragraph and every page and every symbol on every proposed policy form. I know property casualty policy forms.
Property Casualty Pricing. As Deputy Insurance Commissioner, I had daily responsibility to administer the pricing scheme that came to bear on all property casualty coverage sold in the state, including that of automobile coverage.
19. Home and Auto Warranties: Iowa Assistant Attorney General Assigned to the Insurance Department, 1975-1976; serving as the Department’s General Counsel. As Assistant Attorney General, I had departmental prosecutorial responsibilities for violations of the Insurance Code under the state’s APA act including duties relating to motor vehicle service contracts. The Attorney General responsibility also included issuing Attorney General Opinions as to the construction of insurance policy forms and laws generally.
20. Warranties: Legal Counsel to House of Representatives. As legal counsel to the Republicans of the Iowa House of Representative (1975 session) I provided counsel on all relevant caucus issues and provided the following support:
- Researched pending legislation,
- Prepared memorandums in support of proposed legislation,
- Provided legal advice, and
- Participated in bill drafting, including that relating to insurance policy forms and (occasionally) warranty legislation.
21. Lecturer at the Bar Review School, authoring and delivering the Insurance Course to students studying for the Iowa Bar Exam (@ 1985- 1991). I was invited to provide the insurance content review material and lecture for the insurance section of the bar review course in Iowa. Included in this lecture was extensive law applicable to the interpretation and construction of motor vehicle service contracts (warranties). I authored this material and provided this lecture to students studying to pass the bar for about six years, until accepting the position of CEO of NCCI in Florida.
22. Chief of Staff in the U.S. Congress. I served as Chief of Staff in the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. to an Iowa Congressman for about a year. Among others, I participated in legislative drafting of insurance and reinsurance legislation.
Contact Bill Hager at 561-306-5072 or via email to discuss your case.