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RULE §5.4231Mediation Process

(a) Applicability. Sections 5.4231 - 5.4241 of this title are the mediation process and apply when:

  (1) the association has denied coverage for a claim, in full or in part;

  (2) the claimant disputes the denial and gives the association a notice of intent to file suit; and

  (3) the association has requested mediation under the association policy within the time frame allowed under Insurance Code §2210.575.

(b) Mediation explanation. At the same time the association requests mediation, the association must give the claimant a notice explaining the mediation process.

(c) Mediator selection. The association and the claimant must select a mediator who is qualified under §5.4232 of this title (relating to Mediation Process - Mediator Qualifications and Conflicts of Interest). If the parties are unable to agree on a mediator, either party may request the department to select a mediator. The party must submit the request under §5.4251 of this title (relating to Requests and Submissions to the Department), and must include the following information:

  (1) the type of policy;

  (2) a description of the claim and, if known, the potential claim amount;

  (3) the association's denial letter;

  (4) the policyholder's notice of intention to file suit; and

  (5) any other relevant information that the department requests.

(d) Representation. The parties may participate in the mediation without an attorney. Both parties must bring a person who is authorized to settle the case. An attorney representing the association may not attend the mediation unless an attorney representing the claimant participates.

(e) Review information. The parties may ask the mediator to review any information related to the claim, including itemized estimates and supporting documents, such as photographs and diagrams.

(f) Rules of evidence. The rules of evidence do not apply to mediation.

(g) Confidentiality. Unless the parties agree otherwise, all information revealed in the mediation is part of confidential settlement negotiations in anticipation of litigation. This includes any documents presented or created during the mediation.

  (1) No one may make audio or visual recordings of the mediation.

  (2) Parties must give any notes, other than a signed agreement between the parties made during the mediation, to the mediator to be destroyed.

  (3) This rule does not affect the discoverability or admissibility of documents that are otherwise discoverable or admissible.

(h) Agreement. If the parties reach an agreement in mediation, they must put the agreement in writing. Both parties must sign the agreement.

  (1) The agreement may include parts of the claim for which the association accepts coverage.

  (2) The agreement may be a partial agreement resolving some parts of the dispute but not others.

  (3) A mediation agreement does not affect rights on claims for damages that were undetected at the time of the agreement.

Source Note: The provisions of this §5.4231 adopted to be effective February 14, 2013, 38 TexReg 653

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