Legal expenses insurer ARAG, a Legal Futures Associate, has struck a deal with online mediation business Go2mediation to help both reduce the costs of litigation and save policyholders the time and stress involved in court proceedings.
ARAG said the agreement was driven by its focus on the cost-effective conduct of litigation and customer interests.
All Go2mediation mediators are fully trained and Civil Mediation Council approved. The system works in a similar way to face-to-face mediation sessions, with a series of confidential conversations held between the mediator and interested parties with the aim of negotiating a settlement.
However, as the process occurs via virtual rooms, it can take place from anywhere in the world and is not time-sensitive.
The benefits of the online system include reduced costs of travelling, convenience and the time saved by both parties in dispute. Many people also find online mediation to be a less stressful process.
One user said: “It gave me time to think matters over rather than having to make an instant decision in a day’s mediation. It also meant that it didn't seem as much hassle as I could do it at my computer whenever I had time.”
Go2medation was picked by ARAG to provide this service as its platform is one of the most user-friendly, recreating the look and feel of a traditional mediation, with private ‘rooms’ for confidential talks with the mediator, and common ‘rooms’ where the parties talk to each other with the mediator acting as a neutral chairperson.
The costs of online mediation will be met as part of an ARAG legal expenses policy, and mediation will be considered for most of the litigation cases that ARAG refers.
ARAG’s claims manager, Paul Upton, said: “All too often, mediation is overlooked by parties involved in a dispute or indeed, by those representing them. Equally, cost and geographical considerations can be prohibitive. An online mediation facility therefore had a major appeal for ARAG as an alternative way in which to overcome these difficulties and the success rates speak for themselves.”