Disputing an Insurer
If an insurance company offers an unacceptable settlement, or denies or ignores your claim, you may dispute the outcome by filing:
- An appeal with the insurance company.
- A complaint with the NYS Dept. of Financial Services (Insurance).
- A request for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (for disputes of up to $2,000).*
- A claim with Small Claims Court (up to $5,000; excludes claims for pain and suffering).
- A civil lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court, if your injury meets the definition for being “serious” within the meaning of Insurance Law §5102. (Suits are generally with an attorney, though you may represent yourself.)
- A claim with the MVAIC, if your claim to a private insurer was denied.
* The value of arbitration seems dubious from the claimant’s standpoint. The filing fee is $40. If your case is not upheld by the arbitrator, you may be assessed for certain costs—and you will not be allowed to file a liability suit afterwards. Yet if your case is upheld by the arbitrator, and you then file a liability suit, you cannot use the arbitrator’s findings as evidence. You will, however, be entitled to $80 in attorney’s fees (roughly 15 minutes of the typical attorney’s time).
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