As an alternative to doing their own research in the PLRB or database, member insurers can consult with, or request legal and technical informational research by PLRB staff attorneys. Questions may be submitted from our Web site coverage question form, by e-mail, by phone, by fax, or even by mail. Handling over 12,000 requests annually, our lawyers are committed to providing fast responses, thoroughly researched, and with sound, unbiased analysis. House counsel use the Lawline to improve their efficiency. Claims staff use the Lawline to test their own conclusions, as a second opinion, or as good-faith file documentation. Underwriters use it for advice on their coverage questions.
The PLRB staff is called upon daily to interpret both standard and manuscript policy language in the context of a wide spectrum of loss scenarios. Since we answer thousands of coverage questions from a large and diverse group of carriers each year, many of whom do not use standard ISO or AAIS form language, we are uniquely qualified to review and comment upon new policy language submitted to us by product development personnel, underwriters, and claims people of member insurers. Our attorneys are familiar with words or phrases that might be unfavorably interpreted and can suggest language that has a history of favorable judicial construction.
PLRB Search is a vast repository of property and liability insurance legal and claims handling information, constantly being updated, revised, and added to. Printed out, the contents would fill more than 30 lineal feet of shelf space. The subject and text fields of more than 33,000 documents are searchable by word or phrase, by state, and the search engine we use also supports sophisticated Boolean searches, as well as ordinary table of contents browsing. Among the contents available to insurer members:
Our staff attorneys research and report on all current, relevant case law across the country to keep members informed of the most up-to-date legal precedent. All of the Law Review articles are published on our home page under the Legal Updates and send in our weekly Frontlines e-mail newsletter. The case law articles are added to the PLRB Search database as they are completed and include summaries of decisions from courts at all levels, and include free links to the full text of the court opinions where possible. Our law reviews incorporate analyses of these cases and comment on how the decisions can be applied to claims scenarios. They point out potentially troublesome judicial approaches and explain how the newest opinions relate to existing case law. They also direct the reader to other PLRB publications which discuss related subjects and link to free versions of the full court opinion text when available.
Property Insurance Law Review - Analyses of relevant nationwide property insurance case law, continuously published since 1977, over 8,500 pages in all. The Property Insurance Law Review is the PLRB flagship publication and were published monthly; in recent years they have been published at least weekly on our home page as Property Legal Updates.
Homeowners Liability Insurance Law Review - Analyses of relevant Homeowners Section II law from across the country, continuously published since 1988, more than 3,000 pages in all.
Auto Insurance Law Review - Covers decisions on auto liability, UM, UIM, physical damage, and no-fault coverages.
Commercial Liability Insurance Law Review - Focuses on latest developments in commercial liability insurance case law relating to CGL, Businessowners, and Garage policies.
Environmental Liability Insurance Law Review - Covers the critical and rapidly evolving environmental liability insurance case law.
Homeowners Liability Insurance Law Review - Reports on decisions involving Homeowners Section II liability coverage.
PLRB has a Web-based mechanism for insurer and affiliate members to request litigation support from other members and affiliates in the form of amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs. You can access this service by clicking on the "Coverage Research" button in the left bar of our home page and then selecting "Amicus Curiae" from the top bar.