Automated Claim Practices Are NOT Consumer Friendly

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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After you’re in an auto accident, you notify your insurer, submit your paperwork and wait for the claim to be resolved. That was the process 25 years ago and continues to be the process today. However, many insurance companies now receive your claim information and simply run it through an automated system that tells them how much your claim should be worth. It’s a process that is NOT consumer friendly.

How it works

Many of the large insurance companies have been using computer programs such as Colossus, which automatically calculate the cost of treating people injured in auto accidents, including the degree of pain and suffering they might endure and any permanent damage they might have. Another program, called Xactimate, automatically estimates the cost of rebuilding a home.

This means that your claim adjuster may never take the time to review the specific details of your claim. Instead, they’ll run it through the system to see what you should receive and then offer you that claim amount. What’s worse is that insurance industry experts have insinuated that insurers often manipulate these programs to pay out even less than the program recommends.

Claim adjusters still in charge

Even though some insurers use computer programs to calculate losses, the claims adjuster is still ultimately in charge of paying the claim. However, insurers seem to have manipulated claim adjusters in the same way they’ve manipulated claim data. According to a recent Bloomberg news article, claims adjusters from several insurance companies reported that their managers flat out told them to deny claims and lie to policyholders to save the company money. For those adjusters that followed orders – and if they didn’t, they probably weren’t employed there for very long afterwards – prizes were given as a reward.

Estimators under the same pressure

Insurance estimators, those people that are hired by the insurance company to evaluate damages, have also reported being under similar pressures. The Bloomberg article analyzed court transcripts that revealed the testimony of estimators confessing that insurance companies would tell them what they would pay on claims beforehand and then the estimator would have to make his or her damage report agree with that number. Needless to say, this practice is completely the opposite of what should really happen.

As you can see, insurance company tactics are sometimes less than honest. That’s why it’s important to get involved in your claim process to protect your interests. If you can’t get anywhere with your insurer, or feel that they are not being honest with you, consider contacting an attorney who can oversee the process and advise you accordingly. If you are a victim of insurance bad faith, the Advocate Law Group can help you. [Sponsored Link]

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