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Home > Consumer Information > Insurance Topics > Storm Sandy Insurance Mediation Program
Storm Sandy Insurance Mediation Program
 
What can I do if I have an unresolved claim dispute as a result of Storm Sandy? Answer
What is Mediation?  Answer
Program Administrator:
American Arbitration Association (AAA)
855-366-9774
What types of issues are eligible for mediation? Answer
What about flood insurance claims? Answer
Who pays for mediation? Answer
Who is administering the Mediation Program? Answer
Who are the mediators? Answer
How can I request mediation? Answer
Should I attend the mediation session? Answer
What should I bring with me to mediation? Answer

 

What can I do if I have an unresolved claim dispute as a result of Storm Sandy?

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has established a voluntary mediation program to resolve claim disputes between insurers and New Jersey policyholders involving claims against homeowners, automobile and commercial insurance policies as a result of Storm Sandy.


What is Mediation? 

Mediation is a process where a neutral third party meets with the policyholder and the insurance company to help you reach an agreement that both parties will accept. It is non-binding, meaning you do not have to accept the settlement.

Policyholders may elect to participate in an insurance company’s internal appeal process, appraisal processes or insurance company mediation program when applicable, as well as the mediation program established by the Department.

 

What types of issues are eligible for mediation?

Policyholders may submit homeowner's, automobile and commercial insurance Sandy-related claims where the disputed amount is $1,000 or more.

Coverage must have been in force at the time Sandy made landfall in New Jersey. The claim must not have been denied or delayed due to reasonable suspicion of fraud.

 

What about flood insurance claims?

Claims under policies issued by or through the National Flood Insurance Program are not currently part of the mediation program.

 

Who pays for mediation?

Your insurance company pays the cost of the mediator and the program administration unless the policyholder fails to appear, in which case the costs of the cancelled mediation conference and any rescheduled conference are split evenly between both parties. Other expenses you may incur, such as travel to the mediation session, will be your responsibility.

 

Who is administering the Mediation Program?

The Department has completed the requirements of public bidding laws and selected the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) as the Administrator for the Mediation Program.  AAA has acted as Administrator for several mediation programs following weather related disasters.

 

Who are the mediators?

The Department requires that the Administrator use only mediators on the roster of persons qualified to mediate in civil actions for the New Jersey courts.  The mediator is an independent neutral party with no ties to the insurance company.

The Administrator will provide training and orientation for all mediators used in the Sandy Insurance Mediation Program. For good cause, either party can request a different mediator.

 

How can I request mediation?

AAA has created a website with information and forms for you to complete to request mediation. You can visit the website at www.adr.org.  If you have questions or wish a form sent to you, contact AAA toll free at 855-366-9774 or by e-mailing njsandymediation@adr.org.

 

Should I attend the mediation session?

If you are the named insured on your policy, it is strongly recommended that you personally attend the mediation so that you can explain what amount you believe you are entitled to for your insurance claim.  The process is designed to be non-adversarial, so you are not required to have an attorney or other hired representative.  If you do bring a hired representative with you to the mediation, you must provide AAA with at least 5 days advance notice of who will be attending the mediation. You may also bring a family member and if you do not speak English, you are responsible to bring your own translator.  

 

What should I bring with me to mediation?

Generally you should bring all the documentation that helps support your claim. This includes copies of your policy; written and itemized estimates for damage repair; photographs of the damage; reports; bills; and correspondence about the damage.

 
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New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance