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DRONES, DRIVING, AND MORE: TECHNOLOGY IN CLAIMS


 

When it comes to claims, we don’t just take the 30,000-foot view; we also take a 400-foot view – literally, because that’s the maximum altitude of a drone.

Drones are one of several technologies that have dramatically changed the claims process 

and enabled the insurance industry to provide superior customer service, efficiency and greater
cost-effectiveness.  

As a certified drone pilot, I have seen first-hand how high-resolution cameras on drones have contributed to the claims process, including: 

  • Capturing details as small as hail impacts on roofing surfaces
  • Making inspections safer by making obsolete the need to send a field adjuster up a very high ladder
  • Providing a comprehensive aerial view of a large loss site, so it’s easier to grasp the magnitude of the damage

Closer to the ground, cameras and sensory technology in today’s cars have contributed significantly to the wealth of data that is reshaping the auto insurance claims landscape. Perhaps more ubiquitous in policyholder’s lives is the usefulness of smart phone cameras and the significant benefits they can bring to the claims process. For many years cell phones have offered the ability of anyone involved in an accident to submit photos or videos to their insurers. What’s new, however, is that upon receiving such footage, the claims expert can use software to calculate the precise angle and g-force of the collision and then quickly calculate an estimate of the payout.  Essentially, the policyholder can file a claim by snapping a photo.  This “virtual adjusting” capability is becoming more prominent as a tool and is especially beneficial in smaller losses that typically would require a site inspection, which takes more time and money. 

Telematic sensors are yet another technology that works to benefit all parties when a vehicle has crashed. Built into an automobile, these sensors can not only instantly notify a customer’s insurance company but summon emergency responders to the site, adding a safety feature to the claims process. 

And then there is a new solution for streamlining payments of claims: a recent innovation provides technology solutions to the financial world, allows the insurance company to send electronic payments through consumer’s debit cards.3 

Will the use of cameras, sensory technology and other AI-driven products be able to streamline the claims process enough to significantly reduce the amount of work that claims departments handle? Sure. They will also increase the safety of claims adjusters as well as customers and reduce the chances for tension with customers. However, coverage disputes will continue to arise, repair costs will vary, and cases will not resolve without skillfully handled negotiations conducted by people. At GenStar, we see human touch as an essential part of the insurance business and we embrace technology without losing sight of that. 

 

Endnotes

1. https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/claims/7-reasons-to-use-a-dash-cam.html
2. https://www.sap.com/corporate/en.html
3. https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/06/11/528877.htm

 Brad Thompson, CPCU, is a Vice President & Property Unit Manager at Gen Star.  Brad is a seasoned claim professional whose core values are honesty, compassion, dedication and hard work.  He strives to support the career path and growth of employees as well as the corporation’s values and goals.  He is a firm believer in positive thinking and readily adapts to change to succeed.  Brad enjoys an occasional weekend DYI project if it doesn’t interfere with a good college football game.

 

 

 


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