NC insurance issues, Hurricane Florence ramifications, Mandatory arbitration impact, Most have no flood insurance, My disability claims impact
“pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”…NAIC, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016
“Companies don’t want to go to court because it puts them on a level playing field. Courts are ruled by law, legal precedent, and legal discovery, which allows litigants to obtain information and evidence from their opponents or from third parties. Discovery is a privilege in arbitration, but not a right. Arbitrators can’t enforce subpoenas, meaning you have to file a lawsuit just to get a third party or a piece of information into the hearing. In open court, you don’t have to jump through nearly as many hoops. Further, judgments in court are often more favorable to the consumer, both in the rate of success and the dollar amount of judgments.”…North Carolina Consumers Council
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15
Hurricane Florence and its subsequent short term and long term flooding impact has been dominating much of the news in NC.
The impact is much worse than most people realize due to the extensive flooding and the fact that most people affected by the flooding do not have flood insurance.
Those who do have insurance coverage may be in for another shock.
The mandatory arbitration clause that may be in their insurance contract and permitted in NC. If they do not get what they consider a fair settlement, they may not be able to litigate, to have an attorney protect their interest in a court of law.
From the North Carolina Consumers Council.
“Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Are Everywhere But Aren’t Good For The Consumer
MANDATORY ARBITRATION TIES YOUR HANDS AND PREVENTS YOU FROM GETTING PROTECTIONS AND REMEDIES AVAILABLE UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL LAW”
“Arbitration can be voluntary or mandatory. Voluntary arbitration is preferred as it preserves your legal rights. Mandatory arbitration, on the other hand, compels you to first submit to the arbitration process as a condition of buying or using a product or service before you take your case to court. In many situations, however, accepting a mandatory arbitration clause means you surrender your rights to further court action at any time in the future for anything.”
“Arbitration providers market entirely to businesses and their arbitrators often consist primarily of corporate executives and their lawyers. So, arbitration is tilted heavily in the favor of the company because the arbitrator is chosen by and paid for by the company. That arbitrator has a financial incentive to rule in the favor of the company in order to be chosen in the future by the company for other arbitration cases. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the arbitration will not find for the consumer. But arbitrators aren’t required to take law and legal precedent into account when making decisions like in legal proceedings. And since arbitration is private, everything that happens behind those closed doors is supposed to remain secret, meaning there is no public review of the process and no appeal in the case of binding arbitration.”
I recently received a gift, a blessing, from the NC Insurance Commission regarding my disability claim with Thrivent.
I am not at liberty to release the information at this time.
However, the impact this has had on me is significant.
It is my story and the story of thousands, if not millions of others.
From the NAIC, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016.
“Peter Kochenburger and Brendan Bridgeland, NAIC Consumer Representatives
Section One: Why arbitration clauses should be banned”
“Insurers that would insist on mandatory arbitration of policyholder disputes have selected the forum that they believe will be more favorable to them than to their policyholders, if not on each individual claim then in the aggregate. However, manipulating the dispute resolution process in this manner conflicts with the duties insurers owe their policyholders and is not holding their policyholders’ interests “at least equal to their own.”
“If arbitration was truly a neutral forum rather than one favoring insurers, then there would be no need for an insurer to insist on its use before a dispute has even arisen. Insurers should utilize arbitration only when the policyholder has consented to do so after an actual dispute occurs (which is what the suggested amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act should accomplish), rather than requiring it in boilerplate language that the policyholder is very unlikely to read, could not bargain over the provision even if she did, and could not make an
informed decision at the point of sale on the merits. True freedom of contract, combined with the fundamental right to a trial, requires a knowing relinquishment of that right, which can only occur voluntarily once a specific dispute has materialized.”
Aside from continuing my disability claim struggle, I hope to play a part in removing mandatory arbitration clauses in insurance policies.