New Jersey’s mediation program to assist residents with unresolved insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy has recovered $3.42 million for consumers since the program was launched last May, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration announced on Jan 10.
To date, New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance has received 764 requests for mediation and 521 mediations have been completed. Of the 521 mediations completed, 347, or 67 percent, have been settled with 57 percent of them in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. The program has handled cases in all of the state’s 21 counties. The average recovery for consumers is $16,015.
New Jersey residents with unresolved non-flood insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy can have their cases mediated through the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
Launched last May, the mediation program allows property owners to submit homeowner’s, automobile and commercial property claims to a mediator who will review the case and assist in settlement discussions, free of charge. 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 Sandy made landfall are eligible for mediation.
Insurance carriers pay for the cost of the mediator. Policyholders who wish to bring legal representation to the mediation session may hire an attorney at their own expense.
The mediation process is another tool policyholders can use to resolve their claims. Resolving insurance claims quickly is important because New Jersey homeowners and businesses must first settle their insurance claims before they qualify for many federal grant programs.
“We’re pleased that the program so far has helped hundreds of New Jersey residents resolve their insurance claims and bring them some needed closure and funds to repair and rebuild their properties, but there is still more work to do,” said New Jersey’s Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski. “We will keep the mediation program up and running for as long as New Jersey residents need it.”
Source: New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance