Frequently Asked Questions

What does insurance mediation mean?

Insurance mediation is a negotiation between two or more parties, one of which is the insurance company. It is facilitated by a third-party neutral known as a mediator. The process creates structure in the negotiating process but is less rigid than arbitration or litigation. Mediation offers many benefits, but perhaps the greatest is that it offers disputing parties an opportunity to create a process that suits their situation and objectives. Mediators do not issue rulings or make decisions that are binding on the parties, but instead attempt to create an environment that is conducive to a resolution.

How does insurance mediation work?

Insurance disputes well-suited for mediation for a number of reasons. The process enables both parties to utilize the guidance of a truly neutral expert in insurance law and practice (the mediator). It allows the parties to settle issues in the most comprehensive and/or creative manner possible. With the assistance of someone who likely has a better understanding of the industry, parties are given control over their circumstances and are able to negotiate in the best interest of everyone involved. They negotiate in a neutral, less formal environment and have complete authority over whether or not a settlement is reached.

What happens at a settlement mediation?

At a settlement mediation, both parties come together with the mediator to discuss the case. Most mediators first meet with parties together with their attorneys in separate rooms and then go back and forth between the separate rooms and talk with the parties and their attorneys.

During this time, the mediator will likely point out any potential weaknesses and do the same for the same for the opposing party. This helps all parties understand the risks of not reaching a settlement via mediation. Eventually, the mediator will convey settlement offers back and forth until both sides reach a satisfactory agreement.

How do you win a mediation hearing?

Mediation is not necessarily something that is won by either side, but it is possible for everyone to be satisfied with the outcome. There are several things you can do to increase the odds of success, including being:

  • Prepared to discuss the discuss the details of the case with the mediator
  • Open and honest
  • Willing to negotiate in good faith
  • Willing to accept any weaknesses in your argument

Mediation gives you and the opposition control over the outcome of the case, instead of putting it in the hands of a judge. Winning mediation means walking away satisfied with the outcome.

What is the success rate of mediation?

Mediation tends to have a very high success rate that varies based on the type of case being mediated. Some statistics show the success rate as high as 85 to 90%. Much of this depends on the willingness of those involved to negotiate in good faith, as well as the skills and experience of the mediator. When two parties come together and understand the benefit of negotiating a settlement via mediation and they work with a mediator who is able to keep them focused and on track, mediation is all but guaranteed to succeed.

Do I need a lawyer for mediation?

You do not have to have a lawyer represent you at mediation, but doing so increases the chances of success. Insurance companies use lawyers to negotiate on their behalf and these people’s primary responsibility is to protect the bottom line of the company. You deserve to have someone on your side working to protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly and compensated as you deserve. Though you are not required to have a lawyer when participating in mediation, hiring one is highly advisable and will vastly improve your chances of receiving what you deserve.

Do I have to pay for mediation?

Mediators do charge a fee, but who pays the fee can be negotiated in the mediation process. In many cases, the mediator’s fee is split 50/50 between the parties participating. It’s also important to note that paying for mediation can be far less expensive than paying for litigation. The length of time it takes to mediate a dispute is typically far shorter than the length of time it takes to litigate the same dispute. Some issues can be mediated in as little as a few hour or a single day. Mediation can also save you money on court fees.

How do I prepare for mediation?

One of the aspects of mediation that can increase the chances for success is preparation. The better prepared both parties and the mediator are for negotiating the more likely they are to reach a settlement. To prepare for a mediation, make sure you understand how the process works and be willing to negotiate openly and honestly. Provide the mediator with all requested information and prepare an opening statement that explains your point of view in a concise and proficient manner. Finally, make sure everyone attending the mediation has the authority to settle so finalizing the outcome isn’t postponed.

How long does it take to get a settlement after mediation?

The length of time it takes to get a settlement after the mediation process is complete varies from case to case. Factors affecting the timeframe include whether or not you are being paid directly by an entity or through an insurance company, how the laws in your state affect your settlement, and whether or not the money is paid directly to you or to your lawyer (the latter is usually the case). You can hasten the time it takes to receive your money by providing all documents and other information requested from you as quickly as possible.