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Could Claims Challenge Existing InsurTech Priorities?

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While the majority of InsurTech activity leans towards marketing, underwriting, sales, and product service, there is growing interest in streamlining and improving claims reporting and adjusting. Could this mean that Claims disruption is on the horizon?

Customer as examiner…

Earlier this month, RDN – Repairer Driven News reported that Allstate will cease using the company’s drive-inspection stations in favour of its  “QuickFoto Claim photo estimating system,” embedded within the Allstate consumer app.

In a message to Good Hands direct repair network shops, Sandee Lindorerfer auto claims line management director wrote: “Findings from a recent test validated that QuickFoto Claim continues to be a viable option for inspecting vehicle damage and showed that customers embrace this option.” As a result, Allstate determined that customers could act as a DYI examiner.

The transition began in March 2017 and is to conclude sometime in the summer. Only two states would retain the drive-in stations: Massachusetts (which banned photo estimating in 2015) and Rhode Island (for no apparent reason).

According to Justin Herndon, an Allstate Spokesperson, this is a “big customer play”, as it substantially reduces the time needed to book an appointment and drive to the inspection station.

Herndon notes that customer can opt out of using the App by going to a direct repair shop or using a travelling adjuster. However, “The adoption rate on this one is pretty solid,” Herndon says.

Who Looks good?

Allstate is not alone in driving down claims costs and improving customer satisfaction. Last year at the InsureTechConnect conference in Las Vegas, I had a chat with Robin Smith, CEO & Co-Founder of WeGoLook. According to Smith, the company is the “Uber of inspections”.

The services are not restricted to claims inspections, but the construct is suited to a range of claims activities, which require on-site information. WeGoLook recruits individuals to be independent contractors – referred to as ‘Lookers’. The candidates are vetted by WeGoLook, and are provided with on-boarding information. After that, the Looker can accept requests, conduct the ‘Look’, and get paid.

The Lookers are not expected to be experts. However, there are enough situations that simply require a physical viewing and a recording of the status at the time of the ‘Look’.

The benefits accrue from the number of ‘Lookers’ (30,000, according to the website), which provide significantly faster services. In addition, the costs are substantially lower than that of an expert (engineer, etc.).

And who is Looking fast?

In January 2017, Crawford & Company acquired a majority position in WeGoLook. In a statement, Crawford said the company’s capabilities:

enable any one of their network members (Lookers) to provide the prescribed data and picture requirements immediately. Desk-based quality assurance on all responses ensures that their client satisfaction rates are first class.

More is likely to come from this acquisition.

Is the Claims star rising?

A claim is often referred to as the ‘Moment of Truth’ with the insurance consumer. The operational improvements with Allstate’s QuickFoto and WeGoLook have the capacity to look and act like progressive (pun intended) insurance professionals.

That said, there are some developments that are coming to the table that will have embedded AI and Machine Learning capabilities, which will improve the accuracy and reduce processing times.

An existing product is Lemonade. In addition to focusing on a neglected segment (young renters), the company came to market with a helpful friend, described on the website as:

Maya, our charming artificial intelligence bot will craft the perfect insurance for you. It couldn’t be easier, or faster.

In addition to allowing the user to complete an ‘application’ in 90 seconds, the Lemonade AI capabilities can adjudicate, and pay claims normally in 3 minutes. At the extreme, Lemonade has completed the process in 3 seconds.

What do you think?

The majority of claims managers I have worked with have felt left out of technology advances, as marketing and underwriting tend to be the priorities in the race for market share. Is it possible that the InsurTech claims applications could level the field by delivering improved ratios?

I’d like your thoughts.

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