INTRODUCING THE S2 KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

This article introduces "The Structured Settlement Knowledge Network" (Knowledge Network), an educational resource sponsored and produced by Independent Life (IL).

The Mission of the Knowledge Network is to provide all structured settlement and settlement planning stakeholders with timely and targeted learning resources: 1) to help elevate educational marketing and improve professional work product by professional stakeholders; and 2) to encourage and support the development of a professional online settlement planning community of practice that includes and features structured settlements. As a foundational first step for the Knowledge Network, IL has entered into a strategic contract with ALM Media. This strategic educational contract began with a Product Workshop at America's Claim Event (ACE) June 25 - 27 in Austin, Texas. The conference, for senior claims executives in insurance organizations, examined how disruption and innovation are changing the claims function as the insurance industry continues to evolve.

Senior claims executives of property and casualty insurance companies have represented one of the most important advocate groups supporting structured settlements since the concept was first introduced in the late 1970s.

IL’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Daniel Durbin and IL’s Vice President of New Business Development Patrick Hindert, two structured settlement industry leaders and market experts, led the Product Workshop. They used recent studies to highlight current structured settlement discontinuities and opportunities for claims executives and their staffs to realign their programs to achieve immediate operational improvement and "safe-harbor" governmental compliance. A second part of IL's structured settlement strategic educational relationship with ALM features the legal textbook “Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments”, co-authored by Daniel Hindert, Joseph Dehner and Patrick Hindert, and published by Law Journal Press, an ALM affiliate.

First published in 1986, and updated semi-annually, this legal textbook has provided structured settlement and settlement planning professionals with an authoritative reference guide, consisting of 16 chapters with extensive footnotes and Appendix documents, to help them understand issues and fashion settlements and judgments utilizing periodic payments.

Both the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) and the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP) have utilized this legal textbook as an educational resource for their certification programs. To provide a vital resource to structured settlement consultants and settlement planners, as well as source material for the Knowledge Network, IL has contracted with ALM and will soon be  providing every consultant and settlement planner associated with IL a subscription to either the book's online or hard copy version paid for by IL. The online version includes a search feature and download capability as well as link features to access individual book sections, appendices, footnotes, cases and statutes.

Professional structured settlement stakeholders who are members of other national associations where IL is a member, sponsor or exhibitor will be eligible to purchase one-year subscriptions to the book online version at an 85% discount. IL personnel will also work with the book's co-authors and publisher to continue to update and improve the content of the book. Patrick Hindert, who will continue as co-author of the book in addition to his role as VP of New Business Development for IL, will also serve as the primary author for both the Knowledge Network and IL's new blog "The Structured Settlement Chronicle" (the Chronicle).

Future Knowledge Network articles will frequently link to Chronicle posts which will provide news coverage, with some editorial commentary, of events and developments important to structured settlement and settlement planning stakeholders.

Whereas the Chronicle’s primary focus will be on industry leadership, association conferences and public policy issues, the Knowledge Network will feature related "Structured Settlement and Periodic Payment" sections and excerpts to help readers learn how to best utilize this reference guide.

Although, initially, the Knowledge Network will be a read-only educational resource, IL representatives will seek feedback from participating readers and expects the Knowledge Network to improve and evolve with your input. Expect and look for new postings on the IL website every couple of weeks.