Many insurance companies use a computer software program to determine the value of your claim. However, they do not reveal how they do this; the factors, formulas, or information on baseline values are released to the public. In the end, this software is programmed according to the insurance adjusters’ value judgments.
Colossus may be used to lower your claim by manipulating seemingly objective variables such as value of damaged property, length of repair, and costs of treatment. Meanwhile, Colossus will not consider “subjective” factors such as pain and suffering, the length of your condition and its effect on your quality of life, stress, impact on your family relationships, or other factors that juries consider.
The Colossus program’s biggest impact may be that it defines what the insurance adjuster is able to do; it sets the value for your claim. Insurance companies argue that the program is used merely as a evaluation tool, and that additional factors may allow the adjuster to change the value when warranted. However, this is not the case. Insurance adjusters are held to a tight standard determined by the program’s results.
Colossus is the leading insurance bodily injury claims program in the world and is seeing increasing use. 13 of the top 20 insurance companies are expected to use this program in effort to standardize claim values. A former Farmer’s Insurance employee who left Computer Sciences Corporation to serve as a plaintiffs’ lawyer’s consultant estimates that insurance companies are saving from 15 percent to 30 percent on injury claims payouts by using Colossus.
In order to increase the value of your claim you should consider the following:
– Lost time from work, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, anxiety, whatever it may be, express everything to your physician so that all information is recorded in medical records. This is the most important thing that you can do.
– Be specific about your pain and limitations. If you can work, but have to endure pain, tell your doctor. If you cannot perform certain duties or actions, let your doctor know. Generally, the more detail the better.
– Maintain a consistent treatment schedule. Lapses in treatment will reduce your case value. Any interruptions should be explained.
– Colossus generally denies alternative treatment like acupuncture. Therefore, make sure to get a doctor’s referral before undergoing such treatment.
– Colossus quantifies value into time periods. For example, 0-3 months = $y, but 3+ months – 6= $y+$100. In short, 31 days of treatment may be worth significantly more than 30. There are more time related factors such as these that determine claim values.
– In motor vehicle accidents, wearing your seatbelt actually increases your claim value. Make sure your treating physician notes this in your medical records.
Understanding what insurance companies do to lower your claim, can help you effectively build your case and maximize your recovery.