Category Archives: Technology

How to Use Data to Combat Florida’s Insurance Litigation Nightmare

Florida has a big insurance litigation problem. Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) showed that even though Florida represented just 8% of all homeowner insurance claims in the United States in 2019, the state delivered about 76% of all litigation against homeowner carriers that year.

The problem has been getting worse, according to data mined by Roig Lawyers. There were 68,000 lawsuits filed against insurance carriers in Florida in June 2021 – an all-time high – marking an 11,000 increase from 57,000 in the month before, and more than doubling from about 30,000 in June 2020.

There was no major hurricane event or catalyst for this deluge of litigation, most of which was filed around Miami, Broward County, Palm Beach, Tampa, and Orlando. And it’s not just property claims either. We’ve seen a huge increase in personal injury protection (no-fault) litigation, property, windshield, and worker’s compensation, while health insurance carriers have also been getting sued like we’ve never seen before.

The Insurance Litigation Problem

Why is Florida such a hotbed ­– or hot mess – of insurance litigation? While recent legislative changes are trying to chip away at property litigation, they still lack teeth and do nothing to address claims besides property.

A major problem is Florida’s fee-shifting rules, which create a huge incentive for attorneys to sue insurers. At Roig, we’ve seen carriers sued for tiny amounts, but when plaintiffs win, insurers must pay their attorney’s fees, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. In contrast, New York requires attorney’s fees to be proportional to awarded damages.

Technologically speaking, Florida’s court systems are a little behind the times. When carriers get sued, they get a jumbled mess of information, and they have to employ people to extract data manually. It puts carriers on the defensive – how will a company address this problem at the root when it’s spending resources just putting information into a computer? When you’re talking about big insurance carriers, who are seeing thousands of lawsuits in a single month, that’s a lot of wasted time.

We had to deal with this problem at Roig. We tried to transfer information from lawsuits into our system to help our clients strategize. As the mountains of documents grew, we knew we had to find a better solution, so we developed proprietary software that mines, extracts, and organizes all the state’s litigation data to help carriers get on the offensive.

How Data Helps Inform Strategy

This litigation problem in Florida requires serious reform at the legislative level, which means insurance carriers should be trying to communicate with lawmakers. After all, expensive litigation against insurers won’t end well for consumers as insurers pull out of the market and rates increase.

Meanwhile, insurers can use data to get in front of this problem. For instance, they can look at the data and see which plaintiffs’ attorneys are filing massive amounts of lawsuits, and then communicate with them to try to get some of these issues resolved before they become lawsuits.

Another tactic is using the data to see how the plaintiffs’ attorneys are strategizing and adjust policy documents to thwart them. Take a recent example. A plaintiff attorney filed a case in Broward County. The insured lived in Brevard County, which is also where the auto accident occurred and where all the witnesses resided. But the attorney cherry-picked the venue thinking it would be more favorable for the case. With a look at that kind of data, an insurance carrier can easily head off that problem by including a venue selection clause in its policy.

Add Data to the Litigation Defense Arsenal

Data has brought Florida’s insurance litigation problems to light, and it’s also a vital tool that insurance carriers can use to manage the problem until the government puts meaningful structural reform into place.

If you want to learn more about Roig’s insurance litigation data technology solutions, contact us.

Filed under Technology

Farmers Insurance Now Covering Rideshare Drivers in 14 States

Farmers Insurance now provides commercial auto insurance to its Uber drivers in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Ridesharing drivers in Pennsylvania and Georgia were already covered.

Farmers is the second insurer to announce the expansion of its relationship with Uber. Liberty Mutual started covering Uber drivers and passengers on December 31, 2019.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Technology

How The Rise of Autonomous Vehicles Will Impact Auto Insurance

Understanding the future of insurance in a world of autonomous vehicles is highly relevant for insurance carriers today. Auto insurance, like cyber insurance and new parametric products, will impact traditional lines of business with the rise of autonomous vehicle technology. Most carrier executives point to it as the industry’s key prospective destabilizer.

Click here to read the article. (Subscription may be required.)

Filed under Technology

Travelers Joined the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium at MIT

The Travelers Companies has joined the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium, organizations like auto manufacturers, insurance carriers and automated vehicle technology companies working to advance research automated vehicle technologies. The organization studies driver behavior and shares data to improve automated vehicle and driver assistance technologies.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Technology

Driver Error and Tesla Autopilot to Blame for 2018 Crash

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), driver errors and Tesla’s Autopilot design may be the cause of a crash involving Tesla’s Model and a parked fire truck in California. The NTSB cited the driver’s “inattention and over-reliance” noting that the driver kept his hands off the wheel for the majority of a 13 minute and 48-second trip.

Tesla’s Autopilot was engaged during at least three fatal U.S. crashes. However, Tesla says their owners have driven billions of miles with Autopilot engaged and that its data “indicates that drivers using Autopilot remain safer than those operating without assistance.”

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Technology

Tesla Announced Launch of Its Insurance

Tesla announced the launched of its own insurance and claims that it will provide customers with lower rates because of the safety features in its vehicles. According to Tesla, “because Tesla knows its vehicles best, Tesla Insurance is able to leverage the advanced technology, safety, and serviceability of our cars to provide insurance at a lower cost.”

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Technology

Investigation into Minor Vehicle Collision Reveals Autonomous Vehicle Risks

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released results from its investigation into a minor collision involving an autonomous shuttle bus and a commercial truck in 2017. No one was injured in the crash; however, the incident did highlight some autonomous vehicle risks.

The autonomous shuttle operates on a predetermined route but does not have a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator pedal. The attendant could only operate the shuttle using a hand-held controller which was not easily accessible when the incident occurred. A new policy was implemented that made the controller more accessible throughout a trip.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Technology

Autonomous Vehicles’ Movement Towards the Mainstream

There have been many significant advances in autonomous vehicle technology around the world. Among those was a bill that was recently passed in Florida, allowing AV systems to operate on the streets without a human driver. Safety is among the main factors driving and slowing down the development of AV technology.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of serious auto accidents are due to human error. However, autonomous vehicles have some of the same issues that people encounter. AV technology can be affected by weather, road markings, etc. that confuses the AV cameras and lasers, making it difficult to navigate certain areas.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Technology

Drone and Aerial Imagery Key in the Wake of 2018 Natural Disasters

According to the Insurance Journal, drones and aerial imagery have become very important to the insurance industry as a result of natural catastrophes, particularly in the southeast region of the U.S. Drones allowed insurers to capture the impact of our most recent hurricanes and immediately get to work as claims poured in.

The use of drone imagery of the impacted hurricane areas increased by eight times between mid-August and mid-October 2018 compared with the same period in 2017.

It has become an integral part of claim handlers’ workflow along with the other processes that are already in place.

Click here to read the article.


Filed under Technology

Global Blockchain Expected to Grow in the Insurance Market

Insurance companies globally lose more than US$80 billion to fraud every year. A growing number of fraudulent insurance claims, increasing need to have transparent and trustworthy systems, and a focus on reducing the total cost of ownership will most likely drive the growth of the market.  A new study from ReportLinker projects global blockchain will have a compound annual growth rate of 84.9% between 2018 and 2023 ($64.5M to $1.393.8M) in the insurance market. The identity management and fraud detection segment are expected to hold the largest market size during that period.

The insurance sector of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) area is increasing its adoption of blockchain technology now and is expected to grow the fastest.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Technology