Cost and time savings associated with mediation

 

Insurance mediation stands out for its remarkable cost and time-saving advantages. Unlike the protracted timelines often associated with litigation, mediation offers a streamlined process that efficiently resolves disputes. The collaborative nature of mediation allows insurers and policyholders to engage in direct communication, addressing issues swiftly and avoiding the prolonged back-and-forth inherent in court proceedings.

 

This efficiency translates into significant cost savings, as it reduces the expenses related to legal representation, court fees, and potential appeals. Moreover, the flexibility of mediation ensures that parties can reach resolutions without the need for extensive pre-trial preparations, further minimising the time and financial resources expended. In the realm of insurance, where timely resolution is crucial for both insurers and policyholders, the cost and time savings offered by mediation make it a strategic and resource-efficient choice for dispute resolution.

 

Selecting a mediator for your insurance dispute

 

A mediation is only as good as its mediator. Unless ordered to mediation by a court, parties get to choose their mediator. This decision should not be taken lightly. From a policyholder’s perspective, there is often value to agreeing to an insurer’s choice of mediator, assuming the mediator is otherwise qualified and unbiased. It is more likely that an insurer who trusts a mediator will follow that mediator’s advice and counsel. A policyholder that wins the battle to use its own mediator over an insurer’s objection almost certainly will lose the mediation war, as mediation is a voluntary process and no party can be forced to settle no matter what the mediator says.

 

Preparing for your insurance mediation

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare and the documents you should bring to the mediation (or give to the mediator before the mediation begins):

 

Insurance policies:
Thoroughly review all relevant insurance policies involved in the dispute. Understand the terms, conditions, coverage limits, and exclusions.

Compile documents:
Gather all relevant documents related to the insurance dispute. This may include policy documents, claim forms, denial letters, correspondence with the insurer, and any other pertinent records.

Create a timeline:
Develop a chronological timeline of events leading to the dispute. This will provide a clear narrative during the mediation and help others understand the sequence of events.

List concerns and questions:
Make a list of your concerns and questions. This ensures that you cover all important issues during the mediation and helps you stay focused on your priorities.

Collect supporting evidence:
If applicable, gather supporting evidence such as photographs, receipts, medical records, or any documentation that supports your position. This evidence strengthens your case during negotiations.

Assess damages:
If your dispute involves claims for damages, assess and quantify the damages incurred. This provides a clear understanding of the financial implications of the dispute.

Consult legal counsel:
If you have legal representation, consult with your attorney before the mediation. Seek legal advice to understand your rights, potential legal strategies, and ensure you are well-prepared.

Define settlement goals:
Clearly define your goals for settlement. Understand what outcomes are acceptable and prioritise your key objectives for the mediation.

Prepare a personal statement:
Craft a concise personal statement that outlines your perspective on the dispute. This statement can be shared with the mediator and the opposing party to provide context and enhance understanding.

Bring multiple copies:
Ensure you have multiple copies of all documents you plan to present during the mediation. This includes copies for the mediator, the opposing party, and yourself.

Open mindset:
Approach the mediation with an open mindset. Be willing to engage in constructive dialogue, consider alternative solutions, and actively participate in the negotiation process.

 

What happens if you don’t reach an agreement?

 

The good news is that the vast majority of mediation clients find a way forward in just a few sessions. However, there are some participants who can’t reach an agreement through the mediation sessions. Some mediators offer a hybrid form of mediation where the couple would then bring their attorney to be part of the mediation meetings in the hope that having legal advice ‘at hand’ will help find a solution.

 

However, there are some cases where a consensus simply cannot be found. In those cases, the participants may then decide to each appoint an another attorney to try and negotiate a settlement or they may conclude that there is no alternative but to apply to the court for a Judge or Magistrate to decide or refer the matter to the Ombud for Insurance for direction. Even in those situations, the participants can use all the information that has been discussed in the mediation sessions as the foundation of their further negotiations.

Reach out to any of our nationwide DDR centres or on social media to find out more or to book an appointment:

          

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Insurance mediation acts as a guiding light during times of uncertainty, helping policyholders navigate towards solutions that pave the way ahead. Our skilled mediators bring a blend of compassion and knowledge, ensuring that every claim is not only resolved but also comprehended. This creates a strong foundation of trust and peace of mind.

Want to know more about insurance mediation? Download our complimentary eBook on “Navigating Insurance Disputes – A Comprehensive Guide to Mediation Services” or any of our other eBooks.