Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC published a
state-by-state overview of the threat of errors &
omissions (E&O) litigation on U.S. real estate
professionals. The report finds that while no single
factor can predict where litigation will be heaviest,
a range of indicators, taken together, can help
predict where lawsuits are most likely.
Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC yesterday published
What's the State of Your State? E&O Risk Uneven across
the Country, a state-by-state overview of the threat
of errors & omissions (E&O) litigation on U.S. real
estate professionals. The report finds that while no
single factor can predict where litigation will be
heaviest, a range of indicators, taken together, can
help predict where lawsuits are most likely.
In order to more accurately gauge the likelihood of
litigation, Guy Carpenter developed the Guy Carpenter
Subprime E&O Litigation Index, which measures the
combination of factors influencing the E&O litigation
climate on a state-by-state basis.
Factors include foreclosure rate, subprime mortgage
delinquency rate, litigation attorneys per mortgage
professional, truth in lending legislation and banking
litigation ranking. Major findings from the index are
outlined in the report. According to the index,
Illinois, Michigan and Massachusetts claim the highest
overall E&O litigation risk levels, with Mississippi,
Indiana and Ohio close behind.
"It is important to underscore that E&O litigation
related to the subprime mortgage crisis could impact
any state, even those not classified by our index as
particularly risky," said Kevin Griffiths, Head of Guy
Carpenter's Global Casualty Specialty Practices.
"However, it is fair to say that certain states could
be considered 'lightning rods' for lawsuits. As the
number of foreclosures increases, and an increasing
number of borrowers become delinquent in their
mortgages, the likelihood of E&O lawsuits in these
locations also rises."
According to the Guy Carpenter Index, there is little
to no correlation between the highest risk states for
subprime-related E&O litigation and those states such
as Arizona and Nevada with the greatest number of
subprime mortgage delinquencies and/or foreclosures.
Rather, the riskiest states are those that have
average rankings in most categories and an extremely
high result in a single category.
"As the subprime mortgage crisis continues to unfold
and the litigation landscape continues to evolve, the
states claiming the highest risk levels in our index
are likely to change as well," added Mr. Griffiths.
"Still, for insurers, identifying the states with the
highest potential for litigation is an important first
step in gauging their overall exposure to E&O
litigation as a result of the subprime collapse.
Understanding the magnitude of the exposure,
particularly in key states where insured losses could
grow quickly, is a critical next step."
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