20180808 - Alternative Dispute Resolutions - Public
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Alternative Dispute Resolutions
August 08, 2018
To assist Citizens customers who are experiencing difficulties with a claim, Citizens wants you to be aware of the available options prior to a policyholder taking costly legal action:
- Select Contact Us located at the top of the Public website, then select Existing Claim from the Topic drop-down menu. Complete the fields and choose Submit. The claim issue will be routed to the appropriate staff for handling.
Note: For disputes regarding services to be performed under the Managed Repair Program endorsement, an appraisal is required before a suit may be filed. For more information, refer to the Resources section below.
- Florida law allows policyholders the right to initiate one of the following established dispute-resolution programs that are administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS):
- Residential Property Mediation
- Commercial Residential Mediation
- Sinkhole Neutral Evaluation Program
Personal Residential and Commercial Residential Mediation
The DFS Residential Property Mediation and Commercial Residential Mediation programs allow the policyholder and a neutral third-party mediator to meet face-to-face with a Citizens claim specialist who has authority to settle the claim, and:
- The mediator encourages and assists in the resolution of the dispute without dictating the outcome.
- The programs are nonbinding and generally free to the policyholder.
Sinkhole Neutral Evaluation
If Citizens denies a sinkhole claim, or if the policyholder and Citizens cannot agree on the method of repair and remediation, the policyholder can request an evaluation of the claim via DFS’s Sinkhole Neutral Evaluation Program. DFS will provide an impartial professional engineer or professional geologist to review the claim to provide an impartial evaluation.
Notes about these DFS-administered programs:
- For more information, visit the Mediation and Neutral Evaluation page on the DFS website.
- Prior to scheduling a mediation hearing, DFS may reach out to Citizens on behalf of the policyholder to attempt to resolve the dispute.
For more information, log in to the Agents site, and:
- See the mediation section of each Personal Lines policy form. For access to the forms, select Personal → PR-M or PR-W and then the applicable policy type.
- See the mediation section in the Florida Changes endorsement (CIT CR 01 25) for commercial residential risks. Select Commercial → CR-M or CR-W, and then scroll down to the endorsement.
- Select Programs → Sinkholes → Sinkhole Claims.
- Select Programs → Sinkholes → Sinkhole Claims → Sinkhole Investigations.
- Select Search → Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), enter mediation, claim disputes or neutral evaluation into the search field.
- Select News → Bulletins → Personal Lines → PL: Updated Policy Language and New Coverage Limits for Nonweather Water-Related Losses.
Citizens also has policyholder resources on the Public site:
- Select Insurance → Programs → Sinkholes → Sinkhole Investigations for the Settling Your Sinkhole Claim – Where to Find Help brochure.
- Select Claims → Report a Claim, and under the Spotlight section, select the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
- Select Learning → Brochures for the following in the Claims section:
Citizens provides agent communications online for historical purposes only, and the communications have not been updated to include any changes that may have been made after publication. Agents can find the latest information by reviewing the applicable underwriting manuals, and by logging in and accessing our FAQs, which are available from the top of any page on our website.