Disaster Mediation Program Available to Hurricane Matthew Victims

RALEIGH— Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today ordered activation of the Department of Insurance’s Disaster Mediation Program to help homeowners resolve disputed homeowners insurance claims for residential property damage resulting from Hurricane Matthew.

“I want those North Carolina consumers that have been impacted by this storm to know the Disaster Mediation Program is an option to you as we navigate the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew,” said Commissioner Goodwin. “This is a specific tool but I urge anyone with any insurance questions to call and talk to one of our consumer service specialists at the North Carolina Department of Insurance.”

Consumer must request mediation within 60 days after an eligible claim is denied in whole or in part. Only homeowners in Counties covered by the President’s disaster declaration are eligible.

Consumers’ claims must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Mediation Program:

* The damaged residential property is located in a County covered by the disaster declaration.

* The insurance company has denied all or part of the claim.

* The dispute must be over the amount of the loss, or the insurance company’s findings on the cause of the loss.

* The total amount of the claim is more than the consumer’s deductible.

* The amount of the dispute (the difference in position between you and your insurer) is at least $1,500, unless both parties agree to mediate a smaller claim.

* Claims filed under commercial insurance policies, National Flood Insurance Program policies, motor vehicle insurance policies, or liability coverage contained in property insurance policies, are not eligible for the Mediation Program.

Consumers who wish to participate in mediation should first notify their insurance company, which will then send further information on the Mediation Program. Consumers may also call the American Arbitration Association (the Mediation Program administrator) at 866-293-4053. Additional information can be found on the Department of Insurance website at www.NCHurriClaims.com and on the American Arbitration Association website at www.adr.org

The Disaster Mediation Program was created to provide homeowners with a free resource to resolve disaster-related, residential property damage claims disputes in a fair and timely manner. During the mediation process, an independent mediator with no connection to the insurance

For Immediate Release Oct. 12, 2016

Contact: Colin Day


company will be in charge of the mediation conference. The mediator cannot make any decision about the dispute, but rather will facilitate discussion and negotiation between the insurance company and the policyholder. Learn more about hurricane and disaster relief at www.NCHurriClaims.com or by calling the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.