Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Superstorm Sandy Mediations Effective

A mediation program to assist New Jersey residents with unresolved insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy has resulted in over three million dollars for claimants since the program was launched last spring, according to Governor Chris Christie’s administration. New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance has received 764 requests for mediation and 521 mediations have occurred. Some 67 percent of those mediations resulted in a settlement with an average recovery of $16,015. The program handles cases in all of that state’s twenty-one counties. The mediation program allows property owners to submit homeowner, automobile, and commercial property claims to a mediator who will assist in settlement discussions, free of charge. Insurance carriers are paying the cost of the mediator. Policyholders who wish to bring legal representation to the mediation session may hire an attorney at their own expense. Disputed non-flood Sandy-related claims greater than $1,000 that do not include a reasonable suspicion of fraud and are based on policies in force at the time the storm made landfall are eligible for mediation. Residents with unresolved non-flood insurance claims related to Hurricane Sandy can have their cases mediated through the American Arbitration Association. Policyholders are using mediation to resolve claims quickly because New Jersey homeowners and businesses must first settle their insurance claims before they qualify for many federal grant programs. The state's Banking and Insurance Commissioner will reportedly keep the mediation program up and running for as long as residents need it. See more here- http://bit.ly/1cREsbK and http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html