FAQ
IFSRB

Definitions

Arbitration
A statutory method of resolving disputes between parties, by which disputes are referred to an impartial third person for resolution; a substitute for jury and judge.

Arbitrator
The professional who makes a decision based on the evidence and testimony presented by the claimant and the respondent.

Award
The arbitrator’s decision, which is made in writing and is enforceable in court under state and federal statutes.

Case Administrator
The IFSRB staff person assigned to administer cases. This person is neutral and responsible for the administrative details involved in moving cases through the system. The administrator does not represent either party.

Claimant
The party filing the petition and bringing the action in arbitration. Also Customer, Trader.

Discovery
The exchange of information between the parties.

Hearing
A proceeding wherein the evidence is taken for the purpose of determining the facts of a dispute and reaching a decision based on the evidence.

Parties
The named insured and insurer involved in the dispute.

Petition
The filing of a claim in arbitration; also the name of the form used to file a case.

Respondent
The party against whom the petition is filed.

FAQ

What happens when a claim is filed?
When IFSRB receives a complaint the first step is to ensure the claimant has followed the procedures stipulated in the agreement and/or has contacted the respondent to resolve the dispute before appealing to IFSRB. (see Rules)
What happens after the claim is filed?
Once the IFSRB receives all items required, your case will be assigned to an IFSRB case administrator who will be your contact for the duration of your case. The IFSRB’s case administrators act as impartial liaisons, send out notices, monitor the neutral selection process, schedule hearings, and transmit the arbitrator’s awards. The IFSRB offers comprehensive case management to expedite the resolution of your case. Please note that correspondence will be sent by email only.
How long does the process take from beginning to end?
Each case is different. However, we find the average length for arbitrations to be three to six months.
When do I present my evidence and what kind of evidence will be allowed?
You will be given an opportunity to present your evidence at the hearing. The party that files the Petition for Arbitration (claimant) usually presents their evidence first at the hearing. Formal rules of evidence that usually apply in court do not apply in an arbitration hearing, but you must still be prepared to prove your case and present all evidence that you think is appropriate. The arbitrator may accept or reject evidence that the arbitrator believes will help in deciding the dispute. Each party should be prepared to make a focused presentation so the hearing can be conducted in an efficient manner. Generally, the hearings last between one and three hours.
Does IFSRB help me present my claim?
No. The IFSRB’s case administrator will be your main contact throughout the case. The case administrator cannot assist you in the presentation of your claim and will not be in attendance at the hearing. The case administrator will answer your questions about certain procedures relating to the arbitration process, and will distribute information to you, but case administrators do not provide legal advice or legal assistance.
Who are the arbitrators?
The arbitrator is not your legal representative and does not assist you with your case. The arbitrators are impartial decision-makers chose for their knowledge, case experience, integrity, and dispute resolution skills. Arbitrators must adhere to the Standards of Conduct for Arbitrators.
Do I get to select the arbitrator?
A list of potential arbitrators will be provided to you and the insurance company, as well as copy of each potential arbitrator’s resume. You will be given an opportunity to rank these arbitrators from most desirable to least desirable, as well as eliminate arbitrator from the list. The IFSRB will review the rankings of both parties and invite the most mutually acceptable arbitrator to serve on the case.
How do I know the arbitrator is neutral and impartial?
All arbitrators, before they accept appointment to a case, are responsible for completing a conflict check for any past or present relationships with either party, potential witnesses, or the parties’ representatives or attorneys. If the arbitrator has any such relationships, all of the parties will be provided that information. After the parties are given that information, they are given the opportunity to comment on whether that individual should remain as the arbitrator in light of the disclosure. Neither you nor the representative for the insurance company should contact the arbitrator directly before or after the hearing. Any communication with the arbitrator, other than at the hearing, should be directed to the IFSRB for transmittal to the arbitrator. Parties may send exhibit books directly to the arbitrator and opposing party at the same time.
How do I prepare for the hearing?
You should gather all pertinent documentation and make a copy for the arbitrator and the insurance company. Organize the information in a logical fashion. If you intend to bring a witness, you will be responsible to ensure the witness attends. At the hearing, you will be given an opportunity to make a brief opening statement, question witnesses (if any), present the evidence supporting your claim, and answer questions about your case.
How are the hearings conducted?
The arbitrator will discuss with the parties how the hearing will be run. Generally, each party will present their side with the filing party going first. During the hearing, all parties should be respectful to the other party and the arbitrator. Present your case in a clear and concise fashion.
What if the respondent doesn’t show up for the hearing? What if I don’t show up?
The hearing can still proceed even if one party does not show up. The appearing party will still have to present his/her case to the arbitrator.
Can I settle with the respondent prior to the arbitration hearing?
You may settle your dispute with the respondent at any time before the arbitrator issues the award. If you have settled, or believe you are close to settling your dispute, notify your case administrator. If you do settle your case and or decide not to proceed with your claim, the IFSRB will close its case file.
How quickly after the hearing do I get the arbitrator’s decision?
Once the arbitrator closes the hearing, which takes place after he or she determines that all of the information needed to make the decision has been received, the arbitrator will make his/her decision within 30 days. The IFSRB will send you the arbitrator’s award.
What happens after the arbitrator renders their award?
A copy of the award is sent to both parties. If you have questions regarding receipt of the amounts awarded, you should contact your respondent. The IFSRB is not responsible for collecting any award on your behalf and we do not have the authority to enforce an award.
What if I do not agree with the arbitrator’s award?
The arbitrator’s decision is binding on all parties to the dispute. You may request clarification or modification of the award; however, you must submit your request in writing to the case administrator within 20 days from the date the award was issued. The arbitrator is free to decline any response or changes. Under very limited circumstances it can be overturned in court.