Over the last few years many of our clients have heard us complain about insurance companies using Computer Assisted Claim Evaluation Programs when trying to determine the value of a personal injury claim. These programs receive a variety of infomation input by the claims adjuster and then return a “value” for the claim. The most infamous of these type programs is one called “Colossus” used by Allstate. The problem with these programs is that they can be easily mainpulated to make sure the “value” returned for claims in any particular area or region are unfairly low. This forces claimants to have to file lawsuits to secure full compensation or accept the low offer and suffer an economic loss.
On October 18, 2010, the New York State Insurance Department announced that Allstate Insurance Company has agreed to pay a TEN MILLION DOLLAR regulatory settlement concerning its improper use of claims handling software; Colossus. The multi-state investigation was lead by the insurance departments of New York, Florida, Illinois and Iowa and included 41 other States. According the the press release from the NYS Department of Insurance the investigation found “inconsistencies in Allstate’s management and oversight of the Colossus software program. In particular, the examination found that Allstate had failed to modify or ‘tune’ the software in a uniform and consistent manner across its claims handling regions.” Press Release.
The Alabama Department of Insurance (ADI) particpated in this investigation and settlement and, according to Ragan Ingram Chief of Staff for ADI, our State will receive $37,749.60 of the $10 million settlement. This situation again exemplifies why our State needs a “Claimants Bill of Rights” to protect individuals from over zealous insurance companies. Click here to see a sample of the Consumer Bill of Rights adopted by the Texas Department of Insurance.