and a blind spot information system. And
how do all of these systems work? In a
The result is that while there is a great
deal of potential for advanced accidence
avoidance technologies to decrease auto
claim frequency, claim severity will cor-
respondingly rise, due in large part to all
of the sensors involved in making these
systems tick. Sensor placement also plays
a large role in this claim frequency/sever-
ity dynamic, as many of these sensors are
placed in bumpers where most collision
damage occurs. The countless collision
claims resulting from common, every-
day low-speed collisions make returning
a vehicle to pre-accident condition even
more complex, and pricier as well.
The Effect on Claims Handling
There’s no doubt that telematics are
changing both the industry and how
auto claims are handled. Leveraging
telematics data can potentially shorten
the claims investigation by providing vital clues to driving behavior immediately
prior to impact. They can also help assess
driver behavior and therefore driver risk.
This will provide for more accurate underwriting and policy pricing.
In the meantime, on the front lines
of claims handling, claims professionals
must become familiar with the changed
claims frequency/claims severity dynamic that advanced accident technologies have caused. The risk for auto claims
handlers and their claims-handling operations is that unfamiliarity with the
new inner workings of vehicles and their
accident avoidance means ignorance as
to the real cost of time and labor needed
to return a policyholder’s vehicle to pre-accident condition.
Accident avoidance systems are costly
to repair. Take for example that outside
mirror on the 1966 Mercury. Back in the
day, it cost $16.75 to replace. In today’s
dollars, that would be around $80. But
replacing an outside remote mirror with
blind spot sensor can be over $800. In addition, today’s telematics systems such as
AEBs and other accident avoidance systems can cost upwards of $2,200.
Collision repairers are taking full advantage of educational opportunities,
including online classes that can be attended during down time or scheduled
in, many companies are offering the same
options for collision claims handling.
Companies are also taking the time to
make telematics part of industry updates
to employees. Other resources include
schools and associations that offer courses and seminars that are claims-focused.
There are also blogs and social media
sites that have telematics content you can
check out on your smartphone. Just not
while driving, okay? K
greg Horn is vice president of industry
relations for Mitchell International. Previously, he served as vice president of material damage claims at gMaC Insurance.
Horn may be reached at greg.horn@
mitchell.com; www.mitchell.com. Be sure
to also visit his “Sounding the Horn” blog