Mitchell International (Mitchell), the parent company of National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS), says COVID-19 hastened the pace of digital transformation in auto insurance. According to a company release, when the pandemic began, carriers and collision repairers were forced to find ways to limit unnecessary in-person interaction between their employees and customers. This led to the adoption of virtual, or photo-based, estimating.
Auto insurers and repairers used virtualization to support social distancing requirements, which according to Mitchell, improved efficiency and customer satisfaction. Achieving touchless estimates requires a technological evolution, which will take time, according to the company.
“Virtual estimating dramatically increases efficiency and demonstrates the power of using photo capture to produce accurate assessments,” a portion of the release reads. “This method of inspection relies on images and videos. Although virtual estimating puts photos at the center of the appraiser’s workflow, it’s primarily human and not machine driven.”
Mitchell also noted the following:
- Customers start the claims process on their mobile devices, and are guided through how to capture and share photos and video of the damage.
- AI is leveraged to categorize and organize the imported images as well as to detect and highlight sections of the vehicle with damage.
- An application essentially provides appraisers with a 360-degree view of the damage, allowing them to write an initial estimate as if they were at the vehicle instead of at a remote location.
Prior to COVID-19, virtual estimating accounted for 6% of all estimates written in the U.S. last year. However, following the start of the pandemic, virtual estimating rose to 13%, according to the company.
For more information on automated estimating, click here.