Insurers set to pilot US system for settling personal injury claims

AIG and Zurich could be set to run UK pilots with Cybersettle, a US-developed online system designed to settle personal injury claims.

Since Cybersettle was introduced into the US market in 1998, 75,000 cases have been handled with settlements totalling $500m (£276m).

The UK Cybersettle site is scheduled to go live by April of this year.

Law firm Steeles, which will promote Cybersettle in the UK, said it was currently in talks with a number of unnamed insurers about piloting the system.

Sources said AIG and Zurich were two of the insurers considering piloting Cybersettle in the UK.

When asked if AIG was considering using Cybersettle, an AIG spokeswoman said: "We are not currently working with them [Cybersettle], no decision has been made".

A Zurich spokeswoman denied the insurer was planning to use Cybersettle in the UK, but sources said Zurich was interested in piloting the system.

Under the Cybersettle system, an insurer puts three potential settlement offers online, and then a claimants solicitor submits his demand.

The Cybersettle 'double-blind' bid system means that each party is unaware of the value of the other's offer and is only notified when an offer is rejected.

If an offer is rejected, a subsequent round of bidding takes place.

Steeles claims that, by using this system, the average claim is settled in 11 minutes.

Steeles managing partner Philip Hyde said: "The system will enable lawyers and insurance companies to obtain quickly a fair settlement.

"This is a proven process in America that is used by the major insurers, law firms, third-party administrators and municipalities."