NAF Offering Natural Disaster Insurance ADR Program

September 20, 2005

The National Arbitration Forum has launched a specialized natural disaster insurance dispute resolution program to help policyholders and insurers work through the complex insurance disputes that often times occur as a result of property damage or personal injury caused by natural disasters.

The National Arbitration Forum’s disaster insurance dispute resolution program will serve to assist parties with insurance disputes as a result of natural disasters to voluntarily reach an agreement to resolve their differences. This program involves a process that begins with an agreement to mediate/arbitrate to resolve a dispute and ends in parties settling the dispute outside of a courtroom.

As an ADR administrator, the National Arbitration Forum assists parties throughout the process to ensure that claims are resolved in a mutually beneficial manner. If there are insurance regulations or legislation governing how disaster insurance disputes are handled in a state, the National Arbitration Forum has pledged to work within that structure to help resolve the disputes.

The National Arbitration Forum also has flexible administration that allows parties the option of resolving their cases in either a fixed location in a particular city or state or over the telephone, if insurance regulations permit and if parties agree. This will allow parties who may be displaced by disasters the ability to resolve their disputes regardless of their circumstances at the time.

“After natural disasters occur, legal disputes regarding insurance coverage claims tend to be very complex,” said Curtis Brown, general counsel for the National Arbitration Forum. “Disputes arise over the amount of coverage, the types of coverage and the causes of property damage or injuries. And as we have seen with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, we understand that the last thing that anyone wants to do is go through a lengthy, expensive litigious battle. We have developed this program to help individual policyholders, businesses, and their insurance companies resolve disputes more amicably and more quickly in order for all to rebuild and get back to living their lives.”

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