The American Arbitration Association (AAA), a provider of conflict management and dispute resolution services, has opened a new office in Buffalo, N.Y., offering local arbitration support in a region that has experienced an increase in arbitration requests for no-fault auto insurance claims.
The lengthy court backlog in New York State has created a situation where no-fault claim filers have to wait several years before their cases reach a hearing date, according to a press release issued by AAA. The speed and efficiency associated with arbitration, coupled with AAA’s early settlement efforts through a conciliation process, have made it an attractive dispute-resolution option, the release stated.
The AAA has been selected by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to handle the increasing amount of requests for arbitration to settle these claims. Historically, most arbitration requests to settle no-fault claims have been filed with AAA in downstate New York, but there has been a significant rise in upstate filings in recent years. In fact, no-fault arbitration filings in Buffalo increased by 68 percent between 2012 and 2016, and spiked at 12,336 filings in 2015, according to the release.
The not-for-profit AAA has administered approximately 4.1 million alternative dispute resolution (ADR) cases since its founding. With 23 offices in the United States, in addition to Mexico, Singapore and Bahrain, the AAA provides organizations of all sizes in nearly every industry with ADR services and products.
In 2016, 248,117 no-fault cases were filed with AAA, representing a caseload increase of 18 percent over 2015. The total value of claims at issue in AAA’s no-fault program in 2016 came to more than $609 million. Since 2011, AAA’s no-fault caseload has more than doubled, increasing by 171 percent between 2011 and 2016.
The new Buffalo office is expected to make it possible to provide all necessary support for AAA’s upstate caseload locally, said Maureen Kurdziel, vice president of AAA New York Insurance Case Management Center, in the release. Kurdziel added that opening an office staffed with experts and professionals from the surrounding community also gives AAA the opportunity to reinvest revenue from its growing caseload back into New York State and its local communities.
The AAA Buffalo office, located at 250 Delaware Avenue, employs a team of 30 experts from the local community, and is expected to grow over the next year. These professionals provide the full spectrum of support to parties and arbitrators available in the New York City hub. AAA’s cloud-based technology and data analysis platform for no-fault users can enable the Buffalo team to manage the growing no-fault caseload from New York State’s northwest region.
Buffalo-area residents can learn more about how to file a no-fault claim arbitration request on DFS’ website.
Source: The American Arbitration Association
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