PDI: Why or Why Not?

There are certain rules that apply when filing a Post-Decision Inquiry (PDI). Disagreeing with a decision based on the belief the arbitrator misunderstood the facts, misread the evidence, or failed to comment on a specific piece of evidence is not a correctible clerical error. 

Understanding the difference between correctable and uncorrectable errors can save time and preserve resources intended for other decision quality improvement efforts. 

Correctable errors include the following: 
  • Math errors
  • Switched parties
  • Reference to a lack of evidence that is listed
  • Applying state regulation or statute from a state other than the loss state
  • Misapplying an AF Rule of Procedure
  • Jurisdictional errors
A jurisdictional error is when an arbitrator fails to rule on an affirmative defense/exclusion, asserts that an affirmative defense/exclusion was not pled by a party, renders a decision on an issue not in dispute or over which arbitration lacks jurisdiction, or improperly dismisses a case for lack of jurisdiction where jurisdiction exists.

Uncorrectable errors that do not warrant PDI filings include the following: 
  • Disagreeing with the decision regarding liability or damages
  • Disagreeing with a decision based on the belief that the arbitrator misunderstood the facts or misread the evidence
  • No arbitrator comments on specific evidence
  • Wanting further explanation
  • Failing to submit specific evidence or attaching the evidence to the wrong location
  • Failing to raise an exclusion in the filing other than policy limits or denial of coverage 
  • Not raising prior payments in the Prior Payment field and/or prior payments not being supported as paid at the time of evidence submission/filing
The need for some PDIs can be avoided with improved case presentation. Rule 3-9 has seen an increase in PDIs due to additional exposures and failure to include the policy limits when the response is submitted. Additional exposures are damages that are being sought against one’s liability limits, but not currently included in the arbitration filing. This could be an unnamed third party, such as property damage to a building, a utility pole, or traffic signs. Members should be including these additional exposures and providing evidence to support the damage, paid or unpaid, for the arbitrator to review. This information could affect the available policy limit amount and help the arbitrator determine if the filing should be placed in or out of AF’s jurisdiction. Please remember that time is of the essence when submitting a PDI.

Rule 3-9
Rule 3-9 explains that a post-decision inquiry must be submitted within 60 calendar days of the published decision date and a minimum of 60 calendar days before the statute of limitations expires if the issue is concerning policy limits, no policy in effect, denial of coverage, or liability deductible/SIR. A copy of the denial letter to the party seeking coverage or proof of policy limits is required to be submitted with the PDI.    

Rule 4-2
Rule 4-2 explains that a post-decision inquiry must be submitted within 30 calendar days from the published decision date and that it is AF’s sole discretion whether a correctable error was made by the arbitrator or AF.  

For more information, please see the AF Rules available on our website.

Submitting a PDI
A PDI can be created directly from the TRS Decision Action drop-down menu. After clicking the “Create Post-Decision Inquiry” decision action, you will select the PDI and complete the information. Please make sure that you are submitting under the proper decision since some filings may have multiple decisions.