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Mediation may be used to resolve insurance disputes

When people in Kentucky have a dispute with an insurance company, they may feel at a disadvantage and determine that they can only get fair representation by going to court. However, the Kentucky Court of Justice often advises a solution that may be much more effective and efficient: mediation.

If a dispute is taken to court, the judge makes decisions and both parties have to follow the order. In mediation, though, the ability to agree on a resolution or reject it lies with both the individual and the insurance company. A neutral third party oversees the discussion between them with the goal to resolve the dispute rather than declare a winner and a loser. If it appears that mediation will not be effective in a particular case, the mediator has the authority to end the conference unless both parties agree to continue, or if there is a court order stating that the parties must complete the process.

The Kentucky Bar Association notes that in some counties, the circuit courts often will not allow a dispute to go to trial until after the parties have completed mediation. If it is required, the insurance company must not send someone to the mediation session who does not have the authority to settle the dispute. The court expects both parties to make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute. If either party does not comply with the court order in any way, it could be ruled contempt of court.

The settlement or lack thereof is reported to the court upon completion of mediation.

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