Touchless claims; to read some press releases you would think this goal has been achieved for auto insurers, repair networks, and policyholders. Mitchell is more balanced as it re-affirms the vital role of experience, manual inspections, and human intuition.
“Although STP is a fundamental goal and certainly the long-term vision, it is just as important to realize that manual appraisals and human judgment remain key to the estimating process,” “For severe accidents or claims related to the newest vehicles, appraiser involvement still yields tangible business benefits
the report concludes.
Mitchell’s parent company, Enlyte, in its 2022 Annual Trends Report.
The report views changing expectations for the technology through the Gartner hype cycle, a graphical presentation developed, used, and branded by the research firm Gartner to represent the maturity, adoption, and social application of specific technologies. The report says expectations lie between Phase 3, disillusionment, and Phase 5, mainstream adoption on that curve.
“The key to this phase is realizing what is possible and how to put technology to use in situations that bring the most value,” the report says. It says two areas where that applies are the creation of estimates and triaging and automating total loss claims.
Mitchell does say that the long-term goal will be achievable and encourages insurers to evaluate the many solutions available and deliver the benefits of current capabilities whilst experimenting as the technology matures, data becomes more readily available, and the algorithms advance.
John Gaynor Commercial Director at Procurato added valuable insights: -
Some of the discussions on this topic remind me of the debate from 2000 about Telematics. The art of the feasible (can it do it?), vs the art of the possible (does it actually do it reliably?), vs the art of the desirable (do insurers want it at this cost?), vs the reality of adoption (will insurers, and especially brokers and customers actually use it?)
One of the essential questions here, which requires extensive proper research and testing, is will customers (brokers, end users) actually use it. I saw last year, an insurer that couldn't make AI estimating fly simply because customers were not taking the "right photos". Another found significant leakage between AI estimates and engineering. Another carrier has a broker's portal which isn't UX- aligned, so Brokers still pick up the phone first...
22 years on, Telematics still has "great potential", but it hasn't fulfilled that potential to become mainstream and "market-changing" because it failed to address its critical resistance points."
But with so many solutions available how can an insurer best evaluate them? Newer claims platforms like RightIndem offer a practical solution by allowing an insurer to deploy eNOL, collect the relevant data, photos, and video visualisation, and feed these data to a short list of estimatics packages. The predictions of each estimatics package can then be evaluated by qualified inspectors and engineers in an unbiased, like-for-like process to test for completeness and accuracy.
It is not just auto insurance of course. Property and Home Contents are seeing advances from estimatics providers. Accidental damage and home content claims are served by AI-powered applications that search millions of products in global databases to price cash settlement or replacement.
Claims Damage and Cost Estimation Solution Providers
- Be Valued
- Claims Genius
- Value Checker
- Verisk IVI
Mitchell encourages insurers to keep an eye on the longer-term goal whilst benefitting from today's deliverables.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which reported that 79% of auto insurance carriers were open to the idea of touchless claims not long ago, now predicts that telematics data and AI will lead to 60% of claims triaged through automation by 2025, the report says.
“[W]ith only half of non-injury claims predicted to be fully automated by 2025, it is now considered a long-term goal,”
Once they have chosen the ideal AI-powered apps carriers, brokers, and MGAs can deploy minimal viable products as step one and build out the long-term transformation goals one stage at a time benefitting from continuous innovation and iteration.
Auto claim flow
Source: RightIndem Limited
Insurers can initially deploy chosen solutions to triage into repair or total loss workflows and, as capabilities are proven, to augment claims handlers stage by stage. Not to mention that the insurers will be in possession of best-in-class: -
- eNOL claims reporting
- Evaluation and decisioning
- Claims Routing
- Supply chain orchestration
This can be integrated with current claims technology whether incorporated in a core system or as a separate claims management system.
Home & Contents Claim Flow
a) Escape of Water damage
b) Home Content's damage
Source: RightIndem Limited
The report notes that, while 97% of auto insurers surveyed acknowledge the value of STP, only 10% are making significant use of the technology, and less than 25% of global organizations have developed an enterprise-wide AI strategy. To stay competitive, insurers should consider the latter and I have written how in this article: -
This will help insurers navigate the road ahead helpfully visualised by CCC for auto insurance below.
Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions
Nevertheless, this is a long journey requiring extensive research and testing by carriers to ensure adoption and usage by policyholders and brokers. That will also require collaboration and partnership by the technology providers involved whether the point solutions listed above or claims platform providers.
The automation of the auto claims process is “not as close to complete as the industry once thought,” and “manual appraisals and human judgment remain key to the estimating process,” Mitchell’s parent company, Enlyte, says in its 2022 Annual Trends Report.