Zurich North America creates new position to address tort reform

Executive will advocate for fair legal process in claims adjudication, company says

Zurich North America creates new position to address tort reform

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Zurich North America has announced the appointment of Allen Kirsh (pictured above) as head of claims for judicial and legislative affairs. He will report to Paul Lavelle, chief claims officer for Zurich North America.

In the newly created role, Kirsh will be responsible for developing and implementing a claims-focused strategy to influence the judicial and legislative agendas in key jurisdictions across the US. This includes advocating for changes in the law consistent with tort reform issues, supporting judges and legislators who balance industry and social interests, and collaborating with business leaders and trade associations to drive a fair legal process for claim adjudication, Zurich said.

“For years, a well-funded plaintiff’s bar has been eroding tort reform across the country to enable larger jury verdicts and attorney’s fees,” Lavelle said. “It’s time for the business community to more actively engage our government officials to allow for a fair and transparent claim process. Appointing Allen to this key role makes it clear that Zurich is ready to lead the industry-wide effort to create a level playing field inside and outside the courtroom.”

Kirsh will work closely with Zurich’s government and regulatory relations and corporate law team, as well as collaborating with external partners including brokers, customers, trade associations, other insurers, and defense-oriented groups on issues related to the judicial and legislative process for claim adjudication.

Kirsh has been with Zurich since 2002, and has served as the company’s head of claims staff legal since August of 2019. Prior to that, he held numerous leadership positions in claims administration and operations, claims quality assurance and strategic planning. He has also served as claims chief of staff.

“Zurich is committed to helping our customers manage their risks,” said Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich North America. “By creating this important position, we are taking a leadership position that will advance a more equitable and sustainable legal future. We look forward to working with our customers as well as brokers and others in the insurance industry in this effort.”


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