In the wake of Super Storm Sandy, which caused devastation to parts of New York and surrounding areas on 29 October 2012, the New York Department of Financial Services has established a voluntary mediation process to resolve denied, disputed, or delayed insurance claims.  The first mediation sessions took place on 10 April 2013.  The program handles disputed real and personal property claims (excluding damage to motor vehicles) that arose between 26 October 2012 and 15 November 2012 in various New York State counties, including those in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.  (Claims made under the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by the US government, are not eligible.)   The Superintendent of Financial Services has designated the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to administer the mediation program.  The insurer will bear the AAA’s administration costs and the mediator’s compensation for the two-hour mediation session.  Both the claimant and the insurer are required to sign a confidentiality statement.  The parties may agree that the mediation be conducted in person, by video conference, or by telephone conference.