Rarely do insurance companies present professionals with opportunities to make their work easier and save money on insurance premiums at the same time. DPIC Companies, Inc ., the Monterey, Calif., insurer of over 7,600 design professionals in the U.S. and Canada, has done just that. What's more, it has done it twice: first with mediation and now with an innovative concept carrying construction industry partnering to its next logical step.
According to Judy Mendoza, vice president and manager of DPIC' s San Francisco Regional Claims office, DPIC was one of the first nationwide insurers to promote the use of mediation, to assist in getting others to the table, and, in some cases, to underwrite some or all of the mediation costs. Between June 1985 and January 1990, parties agreed to mediation in 80°1<> of the cases for which DPIC made the suggestion. Of those, 76% settled without further litigation, on average 10 months earlier and at an average cost of $40,000 less per claim. The results were so impressive, says Mary Yoshimoto, Hawaii account executive, that a program called "Mediation Works!" was instituted in 1991.