There was a bit of good news this week for car crash injury victims from a company that has traditionally been terrible to work with when trying to get a fair settlement in automobile accident claims.
For years, Allstate’s mission has not been to keep you in “good hands” but to place profits over its policyholders and those injured by their negligent insured drivers. As part of this mission, the worst insurance company in America, according to a 2008 investigation, has spent lots of money devising software that helps their bottom line when handling bodily injury claims, by taking the human element out of claims adjusting and leaving it to a computer program.
This week, however, Allstate agreed to a $10 million dollar regulatory settlement after an investigation into the company’s Colossus software. Colossus is software licensed to Allstate and other insurance companies to help them predict the settlement value of injury claims. Unfortunately, the software is unable to take into account the human factors involved, like chronic pain, sleepless nights, or anxiety attacks. These various factors differ from claim to claim and person to person.
The settlement, though small for a multi-billion dollar company, provides that Allstate agrees “to implement procedures to ensure transparency and fairness for consumers who have bodily injury claims,ccording to New York State Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn. The funds are targeted to be used to train examiners to monitor the use of software in adjusting claims.
Allstate agreed to modify their claims handling process to provide notice to claimants that the Colossus software may be used in the adjustment of their bodily injury claims. At the same time, Allstate assures that they will not establish a rule requiring claims adjusters to settle bodily injury claims solely on the value recommended by Colossus. They also agreed not to provide incentives for claims adjusters to settle claims at the value recommended by Colossus.
So, transparency and fairness are now (apparently) Allstate’s stand. I remain skeptical . . .