Hurricane Irma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic and Floridians bore much of the brunt of it. As a mediation and arbitration attorney in South and Southwest Florida, I know that going through any hurricane is a traumatic experience, and losing your home can make you feel lost, angry, and hopeless. When policyholders and insurance companies have a disagreement regarding the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, it can be quite frustrating. The appraisal process (arbitration) and mediation provide for efficient resolutions.
In this article, I will discuss the importance of the appraisal clause in your insurance policy, the need for a public adjuster, and the use of mediation to help resolve disputed claims in Florida.
How Important is an Appraisal Clause to Damage Assessment in Florida?
Not all insurance policies offer an appraisal clause. When available, an appraisal can be a very effective alternative dispute resolution process. It is essentially an arbitration in which a neutral third-party decides the value of the loss after each side presents its case. It usually involves less time and expense than traditional litigation. As a certified arbitrator, I am qualified to serve as that neutral third-party. The parties usually agree on the arbitrator or the court can appoint one.
How Can I Use Mediation to Settle Disputed Property Damage Claims in Florida?
In addition to appraisal clauses, many insurance policies now have mediation provisions in them. Mediation is a formal settlement conference where, unlike appraisals, the goal is to reach an agreement. The parties usually agree on the mediator as well. Unlike arbitration, the mediator does not issue any an award in favor or against any party. The cost of the mediator is typically is split between the parties.
If you have a disagreement with your insurance company over the cost of repairs or replacement of your damaged property, Carlton Mediation can help you and your attorney resolve the issues through arbitration or mediation faster and cheaper than going to trial.