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Dennis Costello and his team at Second Chair Software have been working with insurance carriers to obtain video depositions of witnesses in litigation so that claim personnel can evaluate witnesses from their desktops. As Costello explains to Claims’ Christina Bramlet, this creates a more cohesive partnership between claims and defense attorneys, the result of which is greater control of case strategies and discovery expenses.

What was the catalyst for developing this offering?

Litigation is expensive. It costs the insurance industry $35 billion per year. Expenses related to depositions account for 35 percent of total litigation costs, meaning that the industry spends between $10 billion and $15 billion yearly. Most cases require an average of two-to-four years to resolve, with 90-95 percent being settled, and the average paid loss continues to grow with time.

The fact is that few depositions are read by claim personnel, and even fewer are attended. Therefore, liability evaluations are based on paper files instead of evaluating the actual human factor. As a result, the claim department is not aware of witness behavior and how they would appear to a jury. There is limited visibility of a discovery plan, and the discovery expense lacks prioritization.

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