How AI could identify potential nuclear verdicts

How AI could identify potential nuclear verdicts

Nuclear verdicts are occurring at an alarming rate in jurisdictions across the country and in most lines of business. According to a 2023 report from Marathon Strategies, the sum of corporate nuclear verdicts has nearly quadrupled in the past three years. 

A “nuclear verdict” is commonly defined as a jury award in excess of $10 million, but can also be a verdict where the non-economic damages are disproportionate to the economic damages and facts in the case. 

While there was hope the trend of skyrocketing nuclear verdicts might slow when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the rebound has been even worse. Further, social inflation driven by nuclear verdicts continue to plague insurers, and in turn, businesses, employees, and the people they serve. 

The billion-dollar question on the top of insurance professionals’ minds is, “How do I spot a nuclear verdict on my desk before it happens?” 

There is no longer a reason to wait for a trial to play out to identify high-risk cases. Artificial intelligence now makes it possible to stop nuclear verdicts in live claim files before they happen. Software solutions that work directly within a carrier’s claims system can identify, manage, and reduce the risk of nuclear verdicts. 

Research shows there is a pattern to almost these cases – meaning there are certain attributes within claim files that have the potential to drive a nuclear verdict. New AI software can pull those attributes out of a claim file to provide claims professionals with a risk assessment score for the likelihood that the claim file could go nuclear. 

Armed with this information, claims professionals can sigh in relief when it comes to low-risk files and are able to raise the alarm early for high-risk files so they, their managers, and their counsel can make the best decisions for that claim before incurring major losses. AI becomes the extra set of eyes, an early-warning system, for claims professionals to handle individual claim files differently – before they enter the courtroom.

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AI is poised to save the insurance industry billions of dollars each year in astronomical jury verdicts and high settlements – thereby reducing social inflation for everyone – but only if insurance companies are willing to put such innovative solutions to the test. And at a time when outsized jury verdicts only continue to rise, isn’t the “risk” of trying something new worth pursuing?