San Antonio, TX (Sept. 24, 2019) – Fender benders. Bumper scrapes. Door dings. Parking lot taps. These scenarios can happen to the best of us. And most people know that after a fender bender, the claims process can sometimes be emotionally trying because it includes adjusters, appraisers, rental cars and body shop visits.
In order to make the claims experience faster and more efficient, USAA and Google Cloud have developed machine learning models that will allow for nearly instant vehicle damage estimates from digital images.
Here is how it works: First, images of damaged vehicles are sent to Google Cloud. The images are then analyzed by Google Cloud models in real-time, which makes damaged part predictions that are returned to USAA. Next, the predictions are sent digitally to estimating and technology solution provider Mitchell International, whose platform maps the predicted parts to real-parts and incorporates them directly into an actual estimate. USAA appraisers then review the Mitchell estimate, and make changes as needed. The machine learning models and estimate integration help save appraisers time, and the appraiser feedback helps improve the models synergistically.
USAA has already begun to experiment with image-to-estimate through the use of drones and aerial imagery during catastrophes. Artificial intelligence will continue to streamline appraisals, enabling faster processing of claims by allowing appraisers to focus on complex cases and eventually supporting end-to-end touchless claims.
“The damage estimation process can be a complex, emotionally charged event, and we always aim to reduce friction and improve the member experience,” said Ramon Lopez, VP Innovation. “The future of customer experience in insurance is more convenient, cost effective solutions, backed by machine learning and computational power.”
In early tests, the machine learning models have been able to predict damage across a diverse vehicle set with a high degree of accuracy. USAA will continue to add features, unlocking the potential for end-to-end touchless claims in the future.
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to more than 12.8 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, visit usaa.com.
Google Blog Announcement
By Tariq Shaukat, President, Industry Products and Solutions, Google Cloud
Mountain View, CA (Sept. 24, 2019) – When U.S. military personnel and their families want to obtain insurance or financial solutions, one of the first places they turn to is USAA. For nearly 100 years, this San Antonio, Texas-based financial services organization has helped families facilitate their financial security, with a focus on building deep relationships with its members.
Another focus for USAA has been using technology to deliver easy and convenient digital experiences. In fact, USAA was the first financial services company to introduce mobile deposits, allowing its members to deposit their checks wherever they are. And, the company was a pioneer in the use of drones and aerial imagery to assess property damage in hard-to-access areas after major natural disasters, such as hurricanes.
Now, in collaboration with Google Cloud, USAA is using machine learning (ML) to speed up the auto claims process, obtaining near-real-time damage estimates from digital images. We’re proud to work with USAA on their digital solutions, helping create faster and more cost-efficient estimates within the claims process.
Traditionally, assessing auto damage claims has been a time-intensive, laborious process. A claims adjuster needs to physically inspect each vehicle, determine the parts that need replacement, and understand the labor required for repair. They then submit a report to the insurer, who must approve the estimate before sharing it with the repair shop and car owner. This process can sometimes take weeks from beginning to end.
Digitizing and moving to the cloud greatly streamlines this process. The appraiser takes photos of the car and uploads them to Google Cloud where, by applying machine learning, they can identify the damage in real-time and send that data to USAA and then into the Mitchell Estimating platform. Mitchell’s software searches parts and labor databases, applies the information to their estimate, and returns that estimate directly to USAA. Appraisers will review the estimate and make adjustments as needed. The new, cloud-based process will allow for faster and more cost-efficient estimates.
“This technology now gives claims teams the opportunity to focus more deeply on connecting and providing guidance to our members, during what can often be a trying time,” said Ramon Lopez, USAA VP Innovation.
Early results are promising, as USAA has been able to predict high-level damage across a diverse vehicle set with great accuracy. We’ve also worked with USAA employees across the evolving digital environment, providing direct engineer-to-engineer collaboration with our own ML experts. USAA plans to add even more features to streamline the claims process for its customers, so that eventually, the majority of low-complexity assessments will be touchless—allowing appraisers to focus on more complex cases that best utilize their expertise.
“Innovation at USAA is not about technology for the sake of technology,” said Lopez. “It’s about enabling our businesses to keep pace with member expectations and needs, all while maintaining the level of service our members deserve.”
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. For more information, visit google.com/about.