Mediation Program Resolves Damages after Hurricanes
When eight major hurricanes ripped through Florida from 2004 to 2005, homeowners filed more than 2.5 million property insurance claims. Of those claims, about 2 percent were disputed.
The disputed claims revolved around adjusting mistakes, fluctuating construction prices, confusion over policy coverage, poor documentation of loss, or communication problems between the insurance company and the policyholder.
Florida’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) authorized the Collins Center to establish a mediation program aimed at addressing these complaints in a fair, timely and cost-effective manner with the goal of resolving the disputes between insurance companies and their respective policyholders.
More than 25,000 mediation requests resulted.
Among the outcomes of the Collins Center’s work:
- About 86 percent of the disputes resulted in a settlement.
- The individual settlements ranged from $50 to $1.5 million.
- The average settlement was estimated at $23,000.
- The estimated total of all settlements as topped $374 million.
The Collins Center’s program was so successful, Louisiana and Mississippi used it as a model for their hurricanes Katrina and Rita mediation programs.
The Collins Center continues to provide courteous service, convenient and comfortable mediation centers and a quality staff of mediators to help the parties reach a settlement.