The Financial Benefit For Insurers : Mediate in Personal Injuries Disputes

Harpur, Paul (2004) The Financial Benefit For Insurers : Mediate in Personal Injuries Disputes. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, 2, pp. 70-87.

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Resolving insurance disputes can focus only on quantum. Where insurers adopt integrative solutions they can enjoy cost savings and higher customer satisfaction. An integratively managed process can expand the negotiation options. The potential inherent in plaintiff’s emotions to resolve matters on an emotional basis, rather than an economic one, is explored. Using research, the author demonstrates how mediations are more likely to obtain integrative outcomes than unmediated conferences. Using a combination of governmental reports, published studies and academic publications, the paper demonstrates how mediation is more likely to foster an environment where the parties communicate and cooperate. Research is employed to demonstrate where mediators can reduce hostilities, in circumstances where negotiating parties alone would likely fail. Generally the paper constructs an argument to support the proposition that mediation can offer insurers an effective mechanism to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. INTRODUCTION Mediation can offer insurers an effective mechanism to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. This paper will first demonstrate the differences between distributive and integrative outcomes. It is argued insurer’s interest can be far better served through obtaining an integrative solution. The paper explains how the mediator can assist both parties to obtain an integrative outcome. Simultaneously the paper explores the extreme difficulties conference participants face in obtaining an integrative outcome without a mediator in an adversarial climate. The mediator’s ability to assist in the facilitation of integrative information exchange, defuse hostilities and reality check expectations is discussed. The mediator’s ability to facilitate in this area is compared to the inability of conference participants to achieve similar results. This paper concludes, the potential financial benefit offered by integrative solutions, combined with the ability of mediation to deliver such outcomes where unmediated conferences cannot deliver, leads to the recommendation that insurers opt for a mediation to best serve their commercial interests.

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ID Code: 26941
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2009 06:28
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2010 15:52

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