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Associate Claim Counsel Bond & SI

Hunt Valley, Maryland

Company Summary

Taking care of our customers, our communities and each other. That's the Travelers Promise. By honoring this commitment, we have maintained our reputation as one of the best property casualty insurers in the industry for over 160 years. Join us to discover a culture that is rooted in innovation and thrives on collaboration. Imagine loving what you do and where you do it.

Target Openings


Job Description Summary

Under close supervision, fulfill Bond & Specialty Insurance (Bond) Claims mission by conducting thorough investigation, analysis, evaluation and disposition of surety bond claims to achieve superior customer service and claim results at the most reasonable cost.

Primary Job Duties & Responsibilities

  • Learn Surety Bond business, products, policies and procedures through work experiences and structured training.
  • Effectively manage all assigned Bond claims, typically of low to moderate severity or complexity.
  • Interact with, collaborate with, and provide legal advice and transactional support to claim and underwriting colleagues.

Claim Handling Responsibilities:

  • Within authority limit, thoroughly analyze, investigate, negotiate and resolve low to moderate severity Bond claims with active supervision by claims management.
  • Make appropriate decisions within own claim authority and make appropriate recommendations on matters outside of authority to management when necessary.
  • Follow operational policies, procedures, workflow and performance standards to comply with all regulatory and Bond customer service standards.
  • Maintain accurate documentation/information in claim file and Bond Claim
  • Management System (BCMS).
  • Follow Claim documentation standards (e.g. coverage analysis, reserve and settlement rationale, current diary).
  • Prepare reports (e.g. Large Loss Memos, quarterly claim, EC, trial, class action) for management that accurately reflect loss development, potential/actual financial exposure, coverage issues, and claim and recovery strategies.
  • Identify and optimize pre-loss recovery opportunities through identification of potential sources of recovery, to include potential responsible party, co-conspirators, beneficiaries and any third parties (Accountants and Banking Institutions,
  • Scrap Yards, Employment Agencies, E&O, or other insurance, etc.).
  • Identify all recovery opportunities and coordinate recovery efforts with the Recovery Management Unit and claims management.
  • Within authority limit, retain, monitor, manage and approve payments to outside counsel on routine litigation matters, actively utilizing litigation management plans and budgets.
  • Communicate reserve adjustments to underwriting.
  • Represent Surety Claim in claim strategic initiatives (or lead team).
  • Lead Surety Liability Claim strategic initiatives.

Legal Support Responsibilities:

  • Answer routine legal questions posed by underwriters that impact underwriting decisions, combining legal research with knowledge gained based on experience handling claims. Answer more complex legal questions with some guidance.
  • Advise underwriters regarding the legal effect of bond and policy language and the extent of coverage.
  • Answer routine legal questions posed by non-lawyer claim professionals to assist them in determining the legal standards applicable to claim handling and claim decisions.
  • Maintain an active license in the state of your principal office location and remain current with all CLE credits.
  • Recovery Management specific:
  • Participate in drafting/reviewing routine recovery settlement agreements and releases modifying recovery policy provisions.
  • Research, analyze and provide advice on routine recovery matters.
  • Surety specific:
  • Review routine contracts, licenses and permits that Company's surety clients request to be bonded and provide legal advice to underwriters concerning the risks presented in guaranteeing the contracts.
  • Advise underwriters as to the legal effects of contracts for which accounts have or may seek bonds in order to assist the underwriters in providing risk mitigation advice to accounts.
  • Determine when exposure to loss as a matter of law on bonds has expired for the purpose of releasing collateral, including reviewing and monitoring court dockets to determine whether release of liability is sufficiently documented.
  • Review status and formation documents of the legal entities comprising surety accounts to advise underwriters how to successfully bind the parts of the account enterprise to indemnity and other agreements with the Company.
  • Review loan documents executed by surety clients to advise underwriters concerning terms, including the scope of the lender's security interest.
  • Transactional Work and Negotiation:
  • Review and draft routine releases and settlement agreements, including confidentiality and no disclosure provisions, for sufficiency, and drafting same for direct handled matters. Advise non-attorney claim professionals on the same.
  • Negotiate routine settlements/resolutions directly or via counsel using legal arguments relevant to liability, damages, and coverage.
  • Surety specific:
  • Modify terms of indemnity agreements to meet needs of underwriters and accounts while still protecting the Company's interests. Draft riders and other modifications to indemnity agreements.
  • Draft and modify bond forms, riders, and consent of surety documents.
  • Review accounts' trusts to determine whether the trustees have the power to bind the assets of the trusts to an indemnity agreement with the Company. Draft trust amendments where necessary and possible to allow trusts to indemnify.
  • With guidance, draft and modify takeover agreements, completion agreements, subcontractor ratification agreements, and any other documents necessary to mitigate risk and discharge the Company's bond obligations concerning the takeover and completion of construction projects.
  • With guidance, draft and modify financing and collateral agreements to assist troubled accounts to discharge bonded obligations and/or secure assets that may be needed to recover the Company's anticipated losses on bonds.
  • Draft and modify intercreditor and equipment utilization agreements.
  • Review documents pertaining to mergers, equity sales and asset sales to determine the legal status and ownership of indemnitors undergoing a change of control. Draft and negotiate appropriate agreements to document indemnity changes related to such transactions.
  • Monitor account bankruptcy proceedings and document new or assumed indemnity if available. Draft and file proofs of claim and advise as to potential recovery. With guidance, assist with the negotiation of debtor in possession surety facilities
  • Negotiate the terms under which the Company will complete or procure completion of defaulted construction projects.
  • Negotiate collateral arrangements with troubled accounts.
  • Negotiate terms of indemnity to be provided to the Company to support the issuance of bonds.
  • Negotiate changes to irrevocable letter of credit forms with commercial banks.
  • Negotiate changes to set aside letters from lenders.
  • Review and negotiate intercreditor agreements and subordination agreements with other creditors of the account on behalf of underwriting and as part of a workout arrangement to mitigate claim exposure. As part of this work, advise as to the sureties rights in relation to secured creditors of the account.

Legal Research and Writing:

  • Draft reference materials to assist claim and underwriting colleagues in understanding the law that impacts the Company's underwriting and claim decisions, such as 50 state surveys and white papers.
  • Based on basic knowledge of evolving contract terms, trends, and conditions in the marketplace gained from claim handling and legal advice to underwriters, advise management of trends that may impact future losses; prepare and deliver presentations on the same to management and claim and underwriting staff.
  • Author and /or edit legal treatises/articles (including seminar materials) concerning bond claims in connection with outside organizations such as the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section.
  • Legal Research - case law, opinions, statutes, regulations and the like as needed for claim, transactional and coverage matters.
  • Draft or review and revise memos and alerts assessing law, statutes and regulations.
  • Review and revise draft motion papers, briefs, and mediation/settlement statements from counsel.
  • Review documents for production in discovery for coverage actions.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree required.
  • Juris doctorate degree required.
  • Properly licensed, registered or authorized, and in good standing, to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you will be working.

Education, Work Experience, & Knowledge

  • 0-3 years of general legal or claim handling work experience preferred.
  • Maintain license to practice law and remain current with all CLE credits.

Job Specific Technical Skills & Competencies

  • Able to learn negotiation skills and strategies within a litigation and non-litigation context.
  • Within designated authority limit, able to make decisions and negotiate terms and conditions consistent with Bond standards.
  • Able to communicate effectively through writing.
  • Able to communicate legal advice to underwriters and management with input from manager.
  • Able to develop proficiency in drafting transactional documents.
  • Can develop the ability to effectively work through conflict and resolve issues with a professional demeanor.

Environmental / Work Schedules / Other

  • Travel Requirements: Travel Occasionally

Employment Practices

Travelers is an equal opportunity employer. We value the unique abilities and talents each individual brings to our organization and recognize that we benefit in numerous ways from our differences. 

If you have questions regarding the physical requirements of this role, please send us an email so we may assist you.

Travelers reserves the right to fill this position at a level above or below the level included in this posting.

About Travelers

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading property casualty insurer selling primarily through independent agents and brokers. The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage in the auto, home and business settings. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2010.