In early May, Allstate announced it will be dropping its drive-in inspection stations, instead directing customers to the photo estimating system available through its mobile app – citing that customers have embraced the technology, with many opting for the virtual experience.
According to Snapsheet President CJ Przybyl, this represents a new normal for the industry which he discussed during an informative webinar on May 31. Snapsheet utilizes proprietary technology to optimize virtual claims operations through their patent pending process.
A small number of insurance companies have implemented mobile self-service technology, specifically the ability to send a branded self-service mobile app to a customer in order to obtain photos of a damaged vehicle. Przybyl calls this "the first step toward virtual claims."
"Very few carriers are doing this themselves, starting with mobile self-service and getting photos from the customers,” he said during the webinar. “But these photos only capture the first portion of the claim. There's still a need to negotiate supplements, handle triaging and total losses, deal with complaints and so forth. All sorts of other mechanisms happen outside of mobile self-service to process a claim, and though you could utilize self-service for up to 20-50% of a claim, it would be very taxing and painful on the backend, leading more carriers to realize they need a full virtual claims platform."
Compared to mobile self-service, virtual claims refers to the ability to process 100% of a claim by obtaining photos through multiple channels, tracking the progress in a dedicated software platform, and centralizing all estimating resources.
Przybyl explained, "This doesn't mean you'll estimate and settle 100% of claims virtually, but we’re moving in that direction. With technology like our virtual claims platform, 100% can start and be triaged perfectly based on photos and information. Full automation of claims requires more technology and a new way of processing claims.”
Automated claims integrate a virtual claims platform with data in order to apply machine learning and fully automate the generation of estimates and other tasks. Przybyl noted, "As we’re implementing this technology at Snapsheet, we’re taking the data that's been submitted and using it to make intelligent decisions, utilizing the analysis from machine learning and artificial intelligence."
Przybyl stressed that there's no chance that insurance adjusters will go away within the next ten years, but rather this process can actually supplement their jobs. According to Przybyl, "Around 70% of our claims communications are fully automated. Processing a claim requires more than just utilizing visual learning to generate an estimate. It’s a more comprehensive process and that needs to be considered holistically, which is the value Snapsheet’s virtual claims platform provides."