At any point, a piece of technology can go from being discretionary to essential, and in many cases, this is what’s happening now with photo estimating within the collision repair industry.
Recently, CCC Information Services, Inc. (CCC) reported photo estimates and AI-supported insurance claims have expanded at a record pace exceeding double-digit growth through May of this year.
Many shops that used to think of photo estimates as an option are now making them the norm for a wide range of reasons.
CCC’s statistics show the rapid adoption of digital technology is in direct response to social distancing and work-from-home protocols initiated to combat COVID-19. The company’s industry data indicates the insurance industry recently surpassed 3 million estimates initiated leveraging photo technology, since tracking began in 2018.
The company also reports the percentage of claims processed through CCC® Quick Estimate, its mobile photo estimating solution, more than doubled from January to April, as carriers are accelerating use and adoption of digital tools in response to COVID-19.
“Industry use of photos for method of inspection has been growing and insurers are seeing benefit to both cycle time and customer satisfaction,” said Susanna Gotsch, director, industry analyst for CCC. “The recent spike is likely indicative of a new normal as we’re seeing greater use of digital by carriers that have been in market and new insurers coming online with digital solutions.”
CCC also reports a similar trend in estimates written using CCC® Smart Estimate, the world’s first AI-guided estimating solution. Smart Estimate applies AI and estimating logic to photos captured with Quick Estimate.
CCC’s Senior Vice President of Product Management Jason Verlen has extensive experience in the software industry, with specific expertise in product management, big data and analytics. Before joining CCC in May 2015, Verlen spent five years at IBM, where he was VP of big data analytics.
“The use of AI-supported claims has accelerated from steady adoption by industry leaders to a massive increase in use and adoption by the industry at large," Verlen said. "Our data, and the conversations we are having with customers, strongly suggests that this point in time will mark a digital revolution in claims.
"We’re seeing every industry embracing new technologies, rethinking how they work, and focusing on personalizing experiences for their customers. The insurance industry is no different.”