Chris A. Johnson, JD, is an experienced claims and claims-legal consultant with over 35 years of insurance industry, legal and litigation experience. He now serves as an expert witness and consultant on a wide variety of insurance-related topics, including coverage and claims in the following areas – property and casualty, professional liability, errors & omissions, reinsurance, excess, performance-bid-surety bonds, and disability.
Chris’s areas of expertise include the duties of good-faith claims handling, good faith negotiations, and the recognition of when these duties have been breached, resulting in bad faith. He has researched and trained on various state statutes regarding unfair claims practices, unfair dealing, and unfair trade practices, as well as state case law in the areas of common law bad faith claims handling. Chris has been consulted on insurance claims-handling best practices, incorporating those into various sections of Claims Handler Guidelines.
Chris earned his Associate Degree from Ohio University in 1975 and his Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1976, both in Criminal Justice. He began is career as an Ohio State Trooper, beginning his Academy training in September 1977, and receiving his commission in January 1978. His career as a State Trooper provided a number of valuable skill-sets he uses to this day, including in-depth investigation, courtroom testimony and experience, and the civil legal process.
In 1982, Chris began his insurance claims career with The Cincinnati Insurance Company as a field claims representative. He handled a wide variety of claims types, including homeowner-auto, business, property and casualty, dental E&O, and litigation management.
Chris finished his Juris Doctorate studies at Capital University Law School in December 1987, and successfully passed the February 1988 bar exam in Ohio, obtaining his license to practice law in May of 1988. After practicing in the areas of insurance defense litigation, and serving as a criminal prosecutor, Chris re-entered the insurance industry as in-house counsel serving in a claims-legal role in 1991.
From 1991 to 2014, Chris provided education, training, and in-house legal advice on a wide variety of topics to the claims departments he served and managed. His career positions steadily progressed from Director of Claims & Legal – Reinsurance, at Nationwide, to AVP Corporate Claims Counsel at State Auto, to Senior VP Claims at XL Insurance.
He was served the designated corporate deponent in claims-related litigation for both Nationwide and State Auto, and was responsible for the review, oversight, management and settlement of all extra-contractual claims and litigation while with the State Auto Insurance Companies from 2001-2007.
Chris began Highbanks Insurance Professionals with Britta Moss in 2014 to provide quality, experienced consulting and expert witness services to stakeholders in the insurance industry, including policyholders, insurers, and law firms.
He provides a range of preventative consulting services as well, including auditing, training and claims reviews. These services are designed to prevent, detect and manage the risks of bad faith exposure, as well as assist risk managers and policyholders with policy interpretation and claims compliance in reporting.