No one ever plans for an accident, and the damage, injury and stress that accompany these unexpected events can add further complications to an already difficult situation. When an accident happens, insurers face the challenging task of getting accurate information as quickly as possible to manage loss cost and additional expenses, while also supporting policyholders in their moment of need. As such, accident scene management is a complex, yet critical, piece of the accident claims process puzzle.
Damage Assessment, launched earlier this year as part of our end-to-end digital Accident Management platform, has the power to save insurers time and money across the tens of thousands of accident claims handled annually. The product leverages Agero’s expansive service provider network and current AM capabilities to effectively capture vehicle photos at the scene of an accident or secondary location and add evidence at pickup. This evidence can then be fed to claims stakeholders to guide vehicle routing and accelerate appraisal, adjudication, and resolution.
By quickly and effectively handling these steps directly, Damage Assessment can positively impact the four key pillars of claims management, and all told, can deliver a three to four times return on investment.
But you needn’t take our word for it.Recent implementations have provided a wealth of insight into the many ways in which photo evidence from the vehicle pickup can drive claims processes and outcomes.
Consider the findings of a pilot launched this summer, which aimed to evaluate photo penetration per accident assignment, photo quality and usability. No filters were placed to selectively choose photos and all AM assignments were ingested, independent of the method of inspection. When photos were uploaded, notifications were created in the Accident Management Dashboard and an appraisal inbox was setup to receive e-mail notifications with a direct link to the photo gallery for that vehicle and event.
Several key findings emerged:
Photos were being captured on the expected population of cases, averaging 4 – 6 photos per case, with appraisers the most prolific users.
Universal feedback was that the photos were helpful to write sheets despite varying background and lighting conditions (e.g., weather, day/night).
Photos were typically uploaded in 10 – 15 minutes from when the SP arrived on-scene, well within the anticipated timeframe of getting the vehicle prepped to be towed. This created a “golden opportunity” for the desk appraiser to change the destination based on what the photos indicated (e.g., tow to salvage yard for a total loss or a repair re-route based on severity/type of damage).
What clearly worked was the ability to build a lightweight process utilizing Damage Assessment and ingesting photos into an existing desk appraisal process. The photos were easy to access and helped expedite the claims process.
An additional standout finding was that when the photos were used to drive a total loss routing or initial estimate, the claim cycle time was improved by an average of 2 – 3 days. This was primarily due to more holistic information being provided by the photos, which helped drive repair estimates and shortened payment, rental, and associated time-cost.
This example also demonstrated how a successful pilot can highlight what can be improved upon. In this case, one of the key opportunities was in scenarios in which a direct repair shop was utilized for both estimate and repair. On one hand, this process is simpler: hand the vehicle off and the repair will happen in accordance with your standards and cost controls. However, time is still incurred that could otherwise have been avoided with an earlier estimate. When integrated with Damage Assessment, the appraisal and repair process was begun sooner, resulting in a two-day cycle improvement.
Using this as a successful baseline, additional use cases can be piloted and refined:
Damage Assessment:Potential Claims Use Cases
Insurers face myriad challenges throughout the auto accident claims process. Fortunately, levers such as Damage Assessment are available to help them save time, frustration, and money.
Mubbin is Agero’s business owner for the Accident Management product offering, responsible for delivering innovative solutions that address critical financial levers in the auto claims value chain. He comes from a P&C background, and is passionate about the intersection of process, technology and organizational enablement of the claims experience.