When a natural disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Andrew strikes, the world stops in a way. Lives are lost, many are injured, properties are damaged. The victims need all the help they can get in restoring normalcy to their lives. Alternative dispute resolution methods—particularly mediation— have done that for Hurricane Andrew victims and scores of victims of other similar disasters by helping them settle their disputes with insurance companies, contractors, etc. This article shows how the AAA has reached out to disaster-stricken communities with its various ADR services and programs.
When Hurricane Andrew battered southern Florida on Aug. 24, 1992, there was untold devastation: 30 people were killed and some 250,000 others were left homeless. Damage was estimated to be $30 billion.
Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States, generated about 25,000 insurance-related claims that inundated the local court system and overwhelmed the insurance industry. In such a dire situation, alternative dispute resolution came in handy to thousands of hurricane victims and their insurance carriers, enabling them to resolve their disputes fairly and efficiently.