Artificial Intelligence in Automotive Claims on Fast Track During Pandemic

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in our daily lives was predicted in Hollywood movies decades ago and began to come true with Siri, Alexa and Smartphones.

According to a white paper released recently by Mitchell International (the parent company of NAGS), artificial intelligence use in automotive claims is growing fast as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made a transition to digital essential to decrease the spread of the virus from human to human.

“As insurers embrace AI and its ability to improve the claims process, they are devoting a larger portion of their technology budgets to AI-enabled solutions. In fact, according to one report, 87% of carriers are now spending in excess of $5 million annually on these technologies, which is more than in the banking and retail sectors,” Mitchell reported.

Although new to the auto insurance industry, the science behind AI has existed for more than 50 years. Conceived in 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized construction of the nation’s interstate highway system, it is uncertain if AI pioneer John McCarthy imagined a future where AI would drive vehicles down Eisenhower’s highway system.

Interest in AI grew until the 1980s when scientists moved from hard-coded algorithms to machine learning: what would make it possible for AI to generate predictions based on data and learned experiences.

By 2012, according to Mitchell, deep-learning algorithms powered Google Street View, Apple’s Siri and other applications. “With the new wave of deep learning techniques, such as convolutional neural networks, AI has the potential to live up to its promise of mimicking the perception, reasoning, learning, and problem solving of the human mind. In this evolution, insurance will shift from its current state of ‘detect and repair’ to ‘predict and prevent,’ transforming every aspect of the industry in the process,” said the paper citing McKinsey & Company.

First on the to-do list for AI is automation of the appraisal process and estimation, which, Mitchell states, can improve efficiency and shorten cycle time. Mitchell data shows that in April 2020, the use of virtual or photo-based insurance claim estimating more than doubled from earlier in 2020. A year later, LexisNexis Risk Solutions reported 60% of claims were processed virtually. According to LexisNexis, 70% of insurance carriers are beginning to offer a virtual claims process.

“The successes of AI are also being facilitated by the massive amounts of data we have today. The wealth of data we now create is astonishing, and the speed at which data is generated has only made data management tools like AI even more important,” says the Center for Insurance Policy and Research.

Mitchell also cites the McKinsey & Co. prediction that more than half of claims activities will be replaced by AI-enabled automation by 2030.

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