An overview

Doug Grant,

March 27, 2001 Toronto

Several years ago, Vital Innovations Inc. of Waterloo ON
developed an application which would audit an invoice for auto glass replacement or repair
services. A different application, but with many common components was developed for glass
shops to use. Of course exchanging invoices electronically would reduce paper, time and
cost. For companies who wanted to further control repairs and replacements, Image capture
and transmission was enabled. Added to their application knowledge and skills, and with
insurance companies looking to outsource non-core processes, a call centre enabled Vital
as an independent intermediary to offer a service to many insurers. Vital could
effectively manage the auto glass claim from first notice of loss through provider
payment, while linking to insurer data for coverage verification, audit functions and
closed claim submissions.

Vital Innovations, a sister company to,
continues with this business today, but uses the primarily Internet-based communications
infrastructure in part managed by to connect with the insurers and glass shop providers.

InsuroCity provides a communications infrastructure for the
insurance claims community to connect with others in the service of processing a claim. By
allowing participants to team and collaborate more effectively and efficiently than using
traditional telephone, fax, courier etc., service times and costs can be reduced, and
customer satisfaction improved. The valued skills of insurance claims professionals are
used more comprehensively as the message-switching role of telephones and telephone tag diminishes.

The InsuroCity claims portal can be used simply as a
“directory” to find service providers of various types. However, the potential
of the infrastructure is better illustrated by the rental/repair service currently being
offered. Throughout this scenario the adjuster (or the company he works for) determines
what information other participants can see, review, update.

  1. The adjuster starts to work an auto damage claim.

  2. He accesses with his browser and enters claim data – if the linkages
    have been established, client, policy and claim data can be imported from the company system.

  3. He selects a rental car provider from the list of
    company providers and sends a work request – to contact the customer and provide a car.
    The car rental shop’s computer is notified that there is a work order, and the user can access the information
    via a browser The work-order data can be transferred to the rental firm’s computer system.

  4. The adjuster selects a car repair shop from the company
    list. The work order flows as for the car rental firm above.

  5. Each step of the way through the repair process, each
    participant directly or indirectly updates claim status.

  6. Within the communications infrastructure, rules and
    process can be included. When a repair completion date will not be met, the repair shop
    enters a new completion date. The rules trigger notification to the rental shop that they
    will not likely get their car back until the new date, the adjuster is informed and an
    extension to the car rental requested.

  7. When completed the bills and subsequent payment
    statements can also be communicated through this system.

Subject to the wishes of the company and adjuster, the
broker and even customer may also be included in the communications “team”, to
review status and provide information. This rental/repair example is in use by several
companies today. It is a good example of how the claims process can become a more
efficient and effective “team” environment.

The Internet will change many things about how we
communicate, and tomorrow it will be sufficiently ingrained as part of what we do that we
may well wonder how we ever did without it – as we today wonder that way about telephone, fax and computer.

For more information generally, review some of the recent
announcements about service providers joining the vendor list on the Web site,
under Professionals, then Claims.

For more detail about, visit their Web site at or contact Rob Gow,
[email protected].