Insurers, Affiliates Look to Resolve Disputes

At least nine insurers and their affiliates will try to avoid court over claims related to the Sept. 11 terrorist catastrophe, instead looking to resolve disputes through voluntary negotiation and mediation.

The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, a non-profit alliance of about 500 companies and law firms that advocates alternative dispute-resolution methods, said an “inter-insurer dispute-resolution commitment” signed by the participating companies covers disputes of any nature arising out of the Sept. 11 destruction of the World Trade Center, the crash of four airliners and the damage to the Pentagon.

Cynthia Blustein, a spokeswoman for CPR, said her organization has been recruiting insurers to explore mediation and negotiation as alternatives to the litigation that threatens to become a big part of the insurance landscape related to Sept. 11.

The insurers who have agreed to the mediation agreement are Allstate Insurance Co., Chubb Corp., CNA Financial Corp., Fireman’s Fund Insurance Cos., Great American Insurance Co., Kemper Insurance Cos., Nationwide Insurance Co., Risk Enterprise Management Ltd. (on behalf of Home Insurance Co.) and Royal & Sun Alliance USA.

Counting the subsidiaries of those insurers that are part of the agreement, 68 insurers are a part of the mediation plan altogether.