Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Insurance Adjusters Try To Be Fair? Colossus Part 1

Columbus, Ohio. Personal injury, car accident attorney David A. Bressman has helped thousands of injury victims over the past 19 years.

You are involved in a car wreck or other injury causing incident. Now the adjuster contacts you and makes all sorts of promises -- we'll treat you fairly, offer you a fair amount.... But, in many instances, the adjuster is no more than a glorified data entry technician. This is because many insurance companies use computer programs whose sole purpose is to remove the human element from claims evaluations and leave the adjuster with little to no discretion on the true value of your claim. In other words, the nice adjuster on the phone may just input your bills and then offer you whatever the soulless computer program tells her to offer you, regardless of your injuries and the effect these have on your life.

Many insurance companies now use a computer program, or one similar to it, called "Colossus." By one estimate, from 1995 to 2005, 70 percent of the auto insurance industry has implemented claims assessment software, including COLOSSUS, Claims Outcome Advisor, and InjuryIQ to evaluate bodily injury claims. These cost containment programs have resulted in plummeting case settlement values.

The effect of these programs is especially evident in "soft tissue claims." Soft tissues involve the muscles and ligaments as opposed to the "hard tissues" like bones. According to the Insurance Research Council, 85 percent of all claims involve soft tissue injuries. Within the U.S. there are approximately 6 million auto accidents per year. With Colossus analyzing more than 60 percent of these cases, the program may be analyzing up to 3 million "soft tissue" injuries per year in the U.S. alone.

Due to the prevalence of soft tissue claims, and the lack of technology presently capable of proving their existence to juries, these claims became a target for the insurance industry in its attempts to reduce claims payouts and increase pmfits. It is clear that of Colossus was developed to further the insurance industry's desire to limit payout on the largest percentage of their claims.

NEXT: More on how Colossus works.

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