Generally speaking, most insurance companies operate, as between one another, through agreements or Treaties. By these documents, and frequently without them, insurers will agree to arbitrate their disputes with other insurers, disputes which arise for any number of reasons. For example, where two insurers may be equally liable to pay a claim, or by the terms of their respective policies they are of the same priority, but one of the insurers says otherwise, the insurers may find it economically wise to settle with the aggrieved party and then arbitrate their dispute.
The process, which is truly devoid of the “plaintiff” or “defendant” stereotype, is known as Inter-Company Arbitration. The agreements or Treaties generally define the process. Regardless, the competing insurers can always agree upon the procedure. There may be one arbitrator selected by mutual agreement or by a court of competent jurisdiction, or three, with one being the neutral or judge, and each insurer selecting their party arbitrator. The hearing can be formal, with witnesses and exhibits and adherence to specified evidentiary and procedural rules, or informal with presentations made by their representative counsel.
Depending upon the complication and sophistication of the issues, the amount of money involved, and whether the process is formal or not, an arbitration can last a day, a week, a month, and the selected arbitrator(s) must be sensitive to all such competing issues. The goal here is to effectively and expeditiously complete the process and resolve the dispute in an economical, cost effective manner.
Having practiced insurance law for over 30 years, Barry M. Feldman is well suited for either of the roles that may be required. He has participated in the process, on both sides of the table. He has served as the sole arbitrator and as a party-selected arbitrator in a panel of three.
If you have a need to resolve a dispute that does not seem to easily lend itself to resolution, this process, and Barry M. Feldman, are to be considered and selected.