Car accident claims being low-balled by some insurers

One consumer advocacy group has reported that people injured in car accident claims are being low-balled by insurers through the use of computerised claims processing systems.

The culprit is the so-called ‘Colossus’ software programme that several insurers use to calculate personal injury compensation payouts. Colossus, along with similar programmes, neglect to estimate certain cases of damages such as loss of work or the inability to pay future bills as a result of a victim’s injury claims.

Industry experts have come to advise consumers to protect themselves from becoming underpaid on traffic accident claims.  Consumers need to be extremely vigilant if they become injured in a traffic accident, especially if their accident claim is being processed by computer, experts say. One tactic experts caution accident victims about is a method in which insurance companies can make adjustments to their computer systems in order to generate ‘savings’ on claims.  The relative validity of each claim is routinely not examined adequately in such cases.

Adjusters will typically sort through medical records when adjusting injury claims related to a traffic accident.  Colossus has around 600 different injury codes that are used to classify consumer injury claims, which are then assigned to each case depending on severity.  The more severe the injury is classified, the higher compensation the injured party becomes eligible for.

Industry experts state that a portion of insurers can alter the programming of such computerised systems such as Colossus to low-ball claims in an effort to save costs.  This can occur even if an offer with a higher figure can be justified for select injury victims. Moreover some adjusters have reported receiving incentives for settling their injury claims either near or at the range of compensation the computer system stipulates.

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