State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company – InsuranceNewsNet

2022 SEP 02 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — A patent by the inventors Call, Shawn M. (Bloomington, IL, US), Clayton, Wendy H. (Franklin, TN, US), Flesher, Kim E. (Normal, IL, US), Graff, Douglas A. (Mountain View, MO, US), Leise, William J. (Normal, IL, US), Magerkurth, Melinda Teresa (Utica, IL, US), McCoy, Anthony (Normal, IL, US), McCullough, Stacie A. (Bloomington, IL, US), Runge, Travis Charles (Heyworth, IL, US), Skaggs, Jaime (Chenoa, IL, US), filed on April 18, 2018, was published online on August 16, 2022, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx correspondents.

Patent number 11416942 is assigned to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Bloomington, Illinois, United States).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: “The insurance claim process may involve a tremendous number of communications and interactions between parties involved in the process. Potential parties to the claim process may be insurance companies, repair shops, lawyers, arbitrators, government agencies, hospitals, drivers, and collection/collections agency. Sometimes the costs of repairs may be disputed and parties may pursue subrogation for particular charges. As an example, when an insured person suffers a covered loss, an insurer may pay costs to the insured person and pursue subrogation from another party involved in the loss. If an insured vehicle is involved in a collision and suffers a loss, the insurer may compensate the vehicle owner according to an insurance agreement. If, for example, the vehicle owner was not at fault in the collision, the insurer may pursue damages from another party, such as the insurer of the party who was at fault in the collision. An insurance agreement may include an obligation of an insured to assign the insured’s claim against a party at fault to the insurer, who may then collect on the claim on the insured’s behalf.

“Settling a subrogation payment may be a lengthy, complicated process. The various parties (e.g., parties at fault in a vehicle collision, owners of the vehicles, insurers, etc.) may need to exchange information relating to the collision to determine which party was at fault. Sources of information relevant to a fault information and/or subrogation payment may include information regarding parties involved in a loss, forensic data regarding the loss, vehicle data regarding a loss, etc. The various parties may verify and share information from a variety of sources, including information held by parties involved in a loss and their insurers, and information obtained from third parties (e.g., governmental entities, independent contractors, etc.).

“The parties to a subrogation payment (e.g., insurers) may make proposals to one another to settle the subrogation claim. A proposal may include an accounting of damages, such as the costs to a vehicle owner whose vehicle was damaged. If an insured person suffered an injury in a collision, the injured person’s health care costs may be included in the accounting of damages. One or both of the parties to a subrogation claim may rely on independent third parties to assess costs, such as a repair cost estimate by an authorized automotive repair services provider for damage incurred in a collision. To settle the subrogation claim, the parties may indicate acceptance or approval of damages calculations, and a payment amount agreed upon between the parties to settle the claim. Parties may rely on a third-party intermediary to handle subrogation negotiations and resolution (e.g., validate information relating to a loss and facilitating communications between the insurers) at added expense.”

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “Systems and methods are disclosed for utilizing a distributed ledger, or blockchain, to manage an insurance claim process, in particular, a subrogation claim process. The systems and methods disclose using evidence oracles for inputting information into the blockchain, utilizing machine learning to suggest amounts for the subrogation process, a line item dispute mechanism, and creating/managing a distributed ledger in response to a vehicle being in an collision. The methods and systems may make use of secure transactions and smart contracts stored on the blockchain.

“The present embodiments further may relate to insurance and handling insurance claims. Sensor, image, or other data may be collected from various sources, such as mobile devices, one or more vehicles (such as smart or autonomous vehicles), smart infrastructure, satellites, drones, and/or smart or interconnected homes. The data collected may be analyzed by artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms to (1) identify whether a vehicle collision occurred; (2) determine a percentage of fault (for the drivers or autonomous vehicles or systems); (3) determine the veracity of an insurance claim or identify potential fraud or buildup; (4) facilitate subrogation or arbitration processes; (5) determine and assign liability to vehicle manufacturers or drivers; (6) create new blockchains and/or individual blocks for blockchains associated with a particular insurance claim, individual, or vehicle; (7) provide payments or e-payments among parties; and/or (8) facilitate other functionality discussed herein.

“In one aspect, a computer-implemented method of handling an insurance claim via a shared ledger may be provided. The method may include, via one or more local or remote processors, servers, sensors, and/or associated transceivers: (1) receiving, at one or more processors, an electronic notification of a vehicle collision; (2) receiving, at the one or more processors, sensor data (such as telematics, image, audio, vehicle operational, or other data) related to the vehicle collision; (3) determining, at the one or more processors, a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for one or more vehicles, vehicle systems, and/or drivers based upon at least in part analysis of the sensor data collected; and/or (4) creating, at the one or more processors, a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor image data and an indication of the percentage of fault(s) determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling. The method may include additional, fewer, or alternate actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.

“In another aspect, a computer-implemented method of handling an insurance claim via a shared ledger may be provided. The method may include, via one or more local or remote processors, servers, sensors, and/or associated transceivers: (1) receiving, at one or more processors, sensor data (such as telematics, image, audio, vehicle operational, or other data); (2) determining, at the one or more processors, a vehicle collision occurred by at least in part analysis of the sensor data; (3) determining, at the one or more processors, a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for one or more vehicles, vehicle systems, and/or drivers based upon at least in part analysis of the sensor data; and/or (4) creating, at the one or more processors, a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor image data and an indication of the percentage of fault(s) determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling. The method may include additional, fewer, or alternate actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.

“In another aspect, a computer system configured to handle or process an insurance claim via a shared ledger may be provided. The system may include one or more processors, servers, sensors, and/or associated transceivers configured to: (1) receive an electronic notification of a vehicle collision; (2) receive sensor data (such as telematics, image, audio, vehicle operational, or other data) related to the vehicle collision; (3) determine a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for one or more vehicles, vehicle systems, and/or drivers based upon at least in part analysis of the sensor data; and/or (4) create a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor data and an indication of the percentage of fault(s) determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling. The system may include additional, fewer, or alternate components and actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A computer-implemented method of handling an electronic subrogation demand via a shared ledger, the method comprising: receiving, at one or more processors, an electronic notification of a vehicle collision; receiving, at the one or more processors, sensor data related to the vehicle collision; determining, at the one or more processors, a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data collected; creating, at the one or more processors, a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor data and an indication of the percentage of fault determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling; receiving, at the one or more processors, an electronic subrogation demand associated with the vehicle collision; specifying, in a smart contract of the electronic subrogation demand and with the one or more processors, an identity of a subrogation claimant by assigning a first cryptographic public key to the subrogation claimant; specifying, in the smart contract and with the one or more processors, an identity of a subrogation defendant by assigning a second cryptographic public key to the subrogation defendant; signing, at the one or more processors, a message with private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant; and sending, to the smart contract and with the one or more processors, data including the message signed by the private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant.

“2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: receiving, at the one or more processors, an electronic arbitration demand associated with the vehicle collision; and generating, at the one or more processors, a recommendation based upon, at least in part, analysis of the percentage of fault and the electronic arbitration demand.

“3. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, further comprising: generating, at the one or more processors, a new block including the recommendation; and adding, at the one or more processors, the new block to the blockchain.

“4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein determining a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle further comprises: inputting, at the one or more processors, the sensor data into a machine learning program trained to identify a percentage of fault for a vehicle based upon sensor data.

“5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising generating, by the vehicle, the electronic notification of a vehicle collision from analysis of sensor data generated by one or more vehicle-mounted sensors.

“6. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: generating, at the one or more processors, a recommendation based upon, at least in part, analysis of the percentage of fault and the electronic subrogation demand.

“7. The computer-implemented method of claim 6, further comprising: generating, at the one or more processors, a new block including the recommendation, or an indication thereof, or a link thereto; and adding, at one or more the processors, the new block to the blockchain.

“8. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: generating, at the one or more processors, the electronic subrogation demand based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data collected and the determined percentage of fault; and generating, at the one or more processors, a block to add to the blockchain that includes a link to or an indication of the electronic subrogation demand.

“9. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the electronic subrogation demand includes one or more line items directed to medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, vehicle towing services, rental vehicle expenses, or combinations thereof.

“10. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: analyzing, at the one or more processors, the electronic subrogation demand, the sensor data collected, and the percentage of fault determined for the vehicle; generating, at the one or more processors, a recommendation for the subrogation demand; and generating, at the one or more processors, a new block including a link to, or an indication of, the recommendation to add to the blockchain.

“11. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: generating, at the one or more processors, an electronic arbitration demand based upon, at least in part, the sensor data and the percentage of fault determined for the vehicle or the vehicle driver; and generating, at the one or more processors, a block to add to the blockchain that includes a link to, or an indication of, the electronic arbitration demand.

“12. A computer-implemented method of handling an electronic subrogation demand via a shared ledger, the method comprising: receiving, at one or more processors, sensor data; determining, at the one or more processors, a vehicle collision occurred based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data; determining, at the one or more processors, a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data; creating, at the one or more processors, a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor data and an indication of the percentage of fault determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling; receiving, at the one or more processors, an electronic subrogation demand associated with the vehicle collision; specifying, in a smart contract of the electronic subrogation demand and with the one or more processors, an identity of a subrogation claimant by assigning a first cryptographic public key to the subrogation claimant; specifying, in the smart contract and with the one or more processors, an identity of a subrogation defendant by assigning a second cryptographic public key to the subrogation defendant; signing, at the one or more processors, a message with private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant; and sending, to the smart contract and with the one or more processors, data including the message signed by private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant.

“13. The computer-implemented method of claim 12, further comprising: generating the electronic subrogation demand is based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data collected and the determined percentage of fault; and generating, at the one or more processors, a block to add to the blockchain that includes a link to or an indication of the electronic subrogation demand.

“14. The computer-implemented method of claim 12, wherein determining a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle further comprises: inputting, at the one or more processors, the sensor data into a machine learning program trained to identify a percentage of fault for a vehicle based upon sensor data.

“15. A computer system for handling an electronic subrogation demand via a shared ledger, the system comprising: a network interface configured to interface with a processor; a memory configured to store non-transitory computer executable instructions and configured to interface with the processor; and the processor configured to interface with the memory, wherein the processor is configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the processor to: receive an electronic notification of a vehicle collision; receive sensor data related to the vehicle collision; determine a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data; create a blockchain for the vehicle collision with one or more links to the sensor data and an indication of the percentage of fault determined to facilitate blockchain-based claim handling; receive an electronic subrogation demand associated with the vehicle collision; specify, in a smart contract of the electronic subrogation demand, an identity of a subrogation claimant by assigning a first cryptographic public key to the subrogation claimant; specify, in the smart contract, an identity of a subrogation defendant by assigning a second cryptographic public key to the subrogation defendant; sign a message with private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant; and send, to the smart contract, data including the message signed by private keys corresponding to the first and second public keys identifying the subrogation claimant and the subrogation defendant.

“16. The system of claim 15, wherein: the electronic subrogation demand is based upon, at least in part, analysis of the sensor data and the percentage of fault determined for the vehicle, and wherein the electronic subrogation demand includes one or more line items directed to medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, vehicle towing services, and rental vehicle expenses; and the processor is further configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the processor to generate a block to add to the blockchain that includes a link to or an indication of the electronic subrogation demand.

“17. The system of claim 15, wherein to determine a percentage of fault of the vehicle collision for a vehicle, the processor is further configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the processor to: input the sensor data into a machine learning program trained to identify a percentage of fault for a vehicle based upon sensor data.”

There are additional claims. Please visit full patent to read further.

URL and more information on this patent, see: Call, Shawn M. Using a distributed ledger to determine fault in subrogation. U.S. Patent Number 11416942, filed April 18, 2018, and published online on August 16, 2022. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11416942.PN.&OS=PN/11416942RS=PN/11416942

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