Free Mediation Sessions Help SI Sandy Victims Awaiting Insurance Claims

By Nicholas Rizzi on April 11, 2013 1:45pm 

 The New York State Department of Financial Services has hired a meditation company to provide free sessions between Hurricane Sandy victims and their insurance companies starting on Thursday, April 11, 2013.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has hired a meditation company to provide free sessions between Hurricane Sandy victims and their insurance companies starting on Thursday, April 11, 2013.
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DNAinfo/Catherine Nance

GRANT CITY — New York State will start free mediation sessions between Staten Island Hurricane Sandy victims and their insurance companies. 

The sessions, mediated by The American Arbitration Association (AAA), will place victims who have not settled or had their claims previously denied and insurance companies in a two-hour, non-binding session to come to a settlement, Borough President James Molinaro announced on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 841 insurance claims unresolved on Staten Island, and Molinaro said his office receives a lot of complaints from victims about the companies.

“I am pleased that the American Arbitration Association will be assisting Hurricane Sandy victims with insurance claims, which unfortunately have become a great problem for many victims,” Molinaro said in a statement.

The state’s Department of Financial Services tapped the AAA, which mediated claims after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in February to help in Sandy-damaged areas.

The sessions, which were scheduled to begin on Thursday, will be held at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to the Towers Foundation’s office on Hylan Boulevard. It will be for customers who submitted claims to companies for damages that happened between October 26, 2012, and November 15, 2012.

Customers whose insurance claims for loss of, or damage to, real or personal property was denied in whole or part — or who have not had a settlement offered by their insurers within 45 days — are eligible for the sessions, according to Molinaro’s office. Customers have three days after they sign their contract to back out of the deal, the office said.

Mediation sessions must be scheduled ahead of time, and customers can email StormSandyNY@adr.org, call 855-366-8767, or visit the AAA’s website to make an appointment. Applicants must fill out a two-page form for the session.

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