Claims Software Helps Insurance Companies “Low-Ball” Victims Of Injuries
5 June 2012No Comments
According to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America, claims software used by many large auto insurance and homeowners’ insurance vendors in the United States has allowed the companies to manipulate claim payments and “low-ball” injured consumers. Injury evaluation software reportedly helps insurance companies “tune” payment perimeters and reclassify injuries as less severe than the diagnosis given by a doctor, the report suggests, thereby manipulating injured victims out of the compensation they deserve. If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas, your first course of action should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney in Texas to discuss your legal rights. Too often, insurance companies try to cheat consumers out of the compensation they deserve; our car accident lawyers at Bandas Law Firm can help you protect yourself against this deceptive practice.
Americans At Risk Of Deceptive Insurance Practices
While opponents of the Consumer Federation of America report argue that claims software is useful in helping to “apply fairness and consistency to the claims handling process,” not everyone is convinced. More than half of the 20 largest auto and property insurance companies in the United States use Computer Science Corp.’s (CSC) Colossus, and many others use similar claims software products, says Robert Hunter, a former insurance commissioner for Texas. The claims software market is largely unregulated by state insurance agencies, and “I’m convinced there are millions of Americans still at risk,” he said.
Claims Software Increases Insurance Company Profits
The claims software, which has been adopted by many U.S. insurance companies over the past 15 years, “has enabled many insurers to increase profits by reducing the amount paid to consumers who filed bodily injury liability claims,” the report indicates. In fact, some insurance companies have touted savings of about 20% after getting rid of human claims adjusters in favor of claims software. CSC originally marketed its Colossus product as a cost-savings product, but shifted to promoting the software as a way for insurance companies to achieve consistency in claims payouts. Some insurance companies weren’t comfortable with the software being marketed as a money-savings package, noted the report, citing CSC materials made public during a class-action lawsuit against the company settled in 2009.
A Corpus Christi Car Accident Attorney Can Help
“Consistency, in and of itself, is a legitimate goal,” said Mark Romano, a former Colossus expert at Allstate Insurance. “However, insurers aren’t investing millions of dollars in this software just to achieve consistency. They’re looking to save millions more by underpaying injury claims.” The report says that insurance companies can tweak Colossus and similar software packages in a number of ways to lower claims payouts. For example, insurance companies can use the software to downgrade the diagnosis of certain injuries, or pair the claims software with medical repricing software that reduces the “usual and customary” medical costs to be reimbursed. If you have been injured in a Texas car accident or another accident in Texas, contact our car accident lawyers at Bandas Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you protect your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation you are entitled to.