Giving insureds options
Claims don’t have to unfold this way.
With the customer’s consent, there are
better alternatives, enabled by the ev-
er-growing capabilities of wireless tech-
nology, connected vehicles, and the vast
data-gathering capabilities that original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are
building into most modern cars. Here’s
one scenario that could play out in the
Two cars collide, and upon impact,
one vehicle’s onboard sensors and com-
puters begin gathering critical informa-
tion, reaching back to the seconds before
the crash and blending those data points
into a digital narrative of the event.
Throttle and braking inputs; changes
in the car’s direction, orientation and
speed; points of impact; deployment of
airbags — all this and more begins to
guide the response.
The priority is the well-being of the
people in the car. Depending on the severity of the impact, the vehicle’s built-in
sensors activate an automated response
system to prompt the OEM’s call center to notify first responders based on
the GPS-determined coordinates of the
crash. The vehicle engages the call center
to assist the driver with any medical or
accident needs, such as ambulance, police and towing services. If the driver is
safe and uninjured and the car matches
a participating insurer, the OEM’s call
center offers an immediate “warm transfer” to the car’s insurer for the driver to
initiate the claim.
In the background, much more is in
motion. The insurer mobilizes its partners as soon as it learns of a loss. GPS
data guides the dispatch of the insurer’s
local towing partner to recover the car
and bring it to a preferred repair facility.
If the customer needs temporary transportation, another partner of the insurer
who may be a local rental car agency or
car-sharing service like Lyft or Uber,
is sent to the accident scene to help the
driver get back on the road promptly.
Sensor data projects the nature and ex-
tent of the damage, providing insights
for damage and injury triage, assigning
the appropriate adjuster, and determin-
ing whether the car is likely to be re-
pairable. If it is, parts ordering begins
within minutes. If a total loss appears
likely, the car is towed directly to a stor-
age or salvage yard.
Sensors also record the location of the
car’s occupants, which seatbelts were fastened, which airbags deployed or nearly
deployed, and what forces may have affected the driver and passengers. All of
this, joined with models and historical
claims data, gives the insurer a head start
on injury triage, estimating appropriate
injury payouts, and reserving accurately
for the incoming claim.
Sensor readings stored in the car’s electronic data recorder (EDR), or “black
box,” with or without customer data, are
joined with photos, video, and weather
and traffic data to begin reconstructing
the accident and guiding the apportionment of liability.
However, it is not all about the connected car data alone. When that is joined
to existing resources — coverage information, claims history, and more — the
telematics data becomes still more useful,
and the result is a fuller, clearer picture of
the event and the parties involved, potentially in minutes instead of days or weeks.
Not only is the claim settled faster if it is
legitimate, but patterns that suggest po-
tential fraud can be spotted early, steering
the claim to the insurer’s special investi-
gations unit if warranted.
The EDR data can even have a life beyond the claims process. Historical EDR
accident data can support claim performance analytics to understand how sensor data correlates with claims handling,
payouts, and damage from various types
of crashes. One insurer’s claim payouts
can be benchmarked against aggregated
insurer data for similar damage.
The value continuum
Two important things happen at every
step in this scenario:
The customer is cared for in a way
that reduces stress and friction with the
insurer and builds goodwill. The pile of
details that typically demand attention
after an accident is reduced to a more
manageable size. The car is repaired or
replaced more quickly. The claim may
settle two to three days sooner, on a more
solid factual foundation that supports
fairness and impartiality.
The insurer mitigates the steady drip
of lost time, rising loss adjustment expenses, and escalating loss costs that
can plague the traditional claims process: multiple tows, needless in-person
inspections, overpaying on repairs and
rentals from non-preferred providers,
protracted subrogation and more. The
savings could add up to $600 and beyond
per claim, not including adjuster costs
or the harder-to-measure effects of customer defections that may result from a
poor claims experience.
Reaching this state doesn’t happen simply. It depends on multiple data pipelines
delivering the right information where
and when it can do the most good. That
is primarily the realm of vehicle telematics, delivering second-by-second data on
a car’s speed, position, mechanical functions and driver inputs.
Most new cars — soon to be nearly
all — are connected, with the capacity to
send continuous, wireless telematics data.
TELEMATICS DATA ALONE
IS POWERFUL ACROSS A
RANGE OF INSURANCE
LEAD GENERATION TO