627.745 Mediation of claims

(1)(a)  In any claim filed with an insurer for personal injury in an amount of $10,000 or less or any claim for property damage in any amount, arising out of the ownership, operation, use, or maintenance of a motor vehicle, either party may demand mediation of the claim prior to the institution of litigation.

(b)  A request for mediation shall be filed with the department on a form approved by the department. The request for mediation shall state the reason for the request for mediation and the issues in dispute which are to be mediated. The filing of a request for mediation tolls the applicable time requirements for filing suit for a period of 60 days following the conclusion of the mediation process or the time prescribed in s.95.11, whichever is later.

(c) The insurance policy must specify in detail the terms and conditions for mediation of a first-party claim.

(d)  The mediation shall be conducted as an informal process in which formal rules of evidence and procedure need not be observed. Any party participating in a mediation must have the authority to make a binding decision. All parties must mediate in good faith.

(e)  The department shall randomly select mediators. Each party may once reject the mediator selected, either originally or after the opposing side has exercised its option to reject a mediator.

(f)  Costs of mediation shall be borne equally by both parties unless the mediator determines that one party has not mediated in good faith.

(g) Only one mediation may be requested for each claim, unless all parties agree to further mediation.