The Insurance Dispute Resolution Services of BC offers the following
services to those facing dispute challenges in the insurance industry.
Mediation is a process of resolving disputes outside of the courtroom.
It occurs when two or more disagreeing parties agree to sit down
with a third party neutral (the mediator) and work in good faith
towards a mutually agreed upon outcome. The mediator is a trained
professional who helps the parties negotiate and settle the disagreement
collaboratively. They work to reveal and define the true causes
and issues of disagreements and ensure that discussions between
the two parties are respectful and beneficial to the outcome.
Mediation is often preferred when maintaining a business relationship
between the parties is important- mostly due to the non-confrontational
setting and the mutually agreed upon outcome.
Mediation should be considered when:
- all parties involved in the dispute are at least willing to
meet and try to settle it in good faith
- a resolution to the problem is in the best interest of all parties
- the confidentiality of the dispute and its resolution are important
to the parties
- a more informal, non-confrontational setting is preferred
Mediation may not be effective if:
- one or more of the parties is completely unwilling to consider
- the parties involved do not have the power to negotiate a final
Arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution medium that
takes place out of the courts. Here an impartial third party is
asked to hear the facts and opinions of the disagreeing parties,
weigh the relevance of the facts, and ultimately come up with a
binding judgment for the disputing parties. As with mediation, arbitration
occurs in complete confidentiality. Unlike mediation, a binding
decision regarding the dispute is made regardless of whether both
parties are satisfied with the judgment or not. One of the advantages
of arbitration is that parties are able to state their facts and
opinions regarding the situation in an open fashion, unlike with
litigation where parties only answer to questions asked by the lawyers.
An arbitrator’s role is to listen objectively to the arguments
from each side of the disagreement, apply it to their knowledge
of the industry already, and decide on what they believe is a fair
settlement given the facts of the situation. The parties involved
in arbitration can choose the person they select to be the arbitrator,
the time and place for the meetings, and the deadline for the decision.
Arbitration should be considered when:
- there are time pressures to come up with a resolution
- being able to openly state ones facts and opinions in a non-structured
fashion are important to the parties
- one or both parties is unwilling to negotiate a settlement
- on some occasions where a matter of principle is involved
Arbitration may not be effective if:
- maintaining the business relationship between the two parties
Mini trials are an excellent way to get a ruling on your dispute
in a way much like the real court system. Here a retired judge will
listen to the facts of the case, weigh the facts against the laws
and precedents set forth in British Columbia, and come up with a
judgment that would likely be set by a judge in the real court system.
It is up to the participants in the mini trials whether they settle
the dispute according to the opinion given by the judge or continue
their dispute resolution in another manner.
Mini-Trials should be considered when:
- the arguments of the case are based upon laws and regulations
- a value is placed on the legal system, however the costs of
doing so are prohibitive
- the time factor is an issue