Lawsuit: Enforce insurance mediation

Apr 3, 2008

Miami Herald--Apr. 03, 2008

A Broward attorney filed a lawsuit Wednesday demanding the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation enforce the state statute that provides homeowners with access to mediation to quickly settle still-open claims from the storms of 2004 and 2005.

Paul Berger, head of The Hurricane Law Group, contends that many homeowners were denied access to the mediation program in the past year, which saved insurers money because they pay the mediation costs and they subsequently underpaid claims.

Set up in 2005, the mediation program aims to resolve claims in a less expensive manner.

Some homeowners were never told the program existed, though state law requires insurers to give homeowners information about the program when claims are filed or a dispute on a claim comes up.

Florida CFO Alex Sink and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty are also named in the lawsuit.