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Sandy Insurance Claimants Have Options For Mediation

Aerial view of damage to the Jersey Shore from Sandy (Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office)

If your Sandy claim is being disputed by your insurer, you still have a chance to recoup some money through mediation services offered by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Disputed homeowners, automobile, and commercial claims can qualify for the program, which gives claimants a chance to have a meeting with their insurer and an independent mediator. Claims must be for $1,000 or more and claims through the National Flood Insurance Program do not qualify.

Anne Marie Narcini, Chief of Market Compliance for the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance, says qualified applicants will have a sit down scheduled within thirty days of filling out an application.

“For a lot of people that keep running into brick walls with their claims, to be able to sit down with a mediator within a month of their request is an efficient and fast way to go about settlement.” says Narcini.

During the meeting, the mediators discuss what the areas of dispute are, talk about resolution, and try to come up with a satisfactory resolution and settlement to the problem. The mediators are part of the American Arbitration Association, and the services are free of cost to claimants unless the fail to show up for their scheduled mediation session, in which case they must split the cost of mediation with the insurer.

Narcini notes of the roughly four hundred and fifty mediations, they are at between a 68-70% settlement rate, adding since the sessions are non-binding, it’s a “win-win” scenario for claimants. Meaning claimants don’t have to accept the mediators decisions and can pursue legal options.

Information for requests on mediation can be found at www.adr.org.  Other questions or to have a form sent to you, contact AAA toll free at 855-366-9774 or by e-mailing njsandymediation@adr.org.

 

 

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