Introduction to Mediation in Connection with Homeowner Insurance Claims

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If you have suffered damage to your home, you will likely have filed a claim with your insurance company in order to have those damages covered. While at times the insurance company may pay you your damages with little to no effort, sometimes, the insurance company takes a position that forces you to file a lawsuit in order to seek recovery of their damages.

If you are in the middle of a lawsuit in connection with the damages you suffered to your home, you may be presented with an opportunity to attend mediation in order to attempt to resolve the matter outside of the courtroom.

In general terms, mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person who assists them in reaching a settlement.

In mediation, the person acting as mediator is generally an individual that has been agreed upon by both the homeowner and the insurance company. The mediator is a disinterested person who has received training and is generally certified to act as a mediator. The mediator has no interest in the outcome of the case, other than trying to bring both sides together.

A mediation generally begins with both the insurance company and the attorney, along with the homeowner and their attorney, meeting in a conference room with both sides presenting a summary of their respective positions.

After the introduction, the mediator moves the insurance company and their attorney into a separate room. The mediator generally then speaks with both sides privately and shuttles between the two rooms in an attempt to bring both sides together on a mutually agreeable settlement figure.

Whatever is discussed by the homeowner in a private session is never disclosed by the mediator unless the homeowner gives permission for that information to be disclosed to the insurance company.

There are several advantages to deciding to attend a mediation. In mediation, you get to participate in deciding a result without having the result determined by either a judge or a jury. You, along with your attorney and the mediator, can focus on your needs and your interest. You also have the opportunity to express your feelings and anger concerning the situation in such a way that you would not be allowed to do in a courtroom.

As a general note, mediation will not provide you as the homeowner with one hundred percent of what you are seeking. What it will provide you with, if a settlement is reached, is a guarantee that the case will be ended with the agreed upon payment which eliminates the risk of continuing with the litigation and ultimately a trial.

Although it may sound strange, many mediators are of the opinion that the best conclusion to mediation is where both sides walk out of the mediation unhappy. Most mediators would say that the best conclusion is where the insurance company has paid more than they want to pay and where the homeowner has taken something less than what they really wanted.

Despite the fact that you will not receive one hundred percent of what you are seeking, mediation generally provides a higher degree of satisfaction as to the outcome of a case than a situation where the outcome is determined by a disinterested judge or a disinterested jury. If you are presented with an opportunity to mediate your case, you should seriously consider and weigh the pros and cons of the mediation versus continuing with litigation.

DISCLAIMER: This and other segments posted on this website are offered for informational and discussion purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. This office only represents homeowners and property owners. We do not represent insurance companies. The information contained in this segment should not be considered to be legal advice.