If I told you within 30 days your staff could process auto claims virtually would you believe me? Well you should because, indeed, it’s possible and easier than you think. If this year has taught us anything, virtual claims – or digital, mobile, desk writes, photos only…goes by many names – should be part of your business plan. The benefits for you will be lower costs, faster cycle times and increased customer satisfaction.

Moving in this direction requires a keen focus on process and workflow. Why? Because if you don’t have a comprehensive and unified platform that incorporates every inspection channel a vehicle owner may need, you’re sunk. You’re then forced to resort to an adhoc inspection solution to meet your customer’s needs. This could include attempting to write estimates from photos provided by field inspectors or finding ways to get photos from other sources. It’s a risk that could delay the claim even further.

Photo estimating is a great tool in the toolkit and should be used when appropriate, but treat it as just one of several tools at your disposal. The better solution incorporates a workflow that flexes to your needs. It’s one that can shift back and forth between a fully virtual process, to a field appraiser, a collision repair shop or salvage yard. An insurer needs to understand that not every claim can or should be done with virtual photo estimating.

To reiterate, the key to success lies within the process and many factors come into play – customer preference and technological capabilities, extent of damage, customer desire to have an in-person inspection, or location of vehicle. The ultimate goal is to put the right claim into the right hands for the best outcome. Within the claims journey, we call this the “touchless triage.” Ideally right from the FNOL, you funnel the claim to the right inspection channel. With a combination of machine learning, intelligent dispatching or predictive tools, this can be accomplished with a high-level of accuracy. And all of this comes with ACD’s* seamless end-to-end workflow platform.

We’re experts in the auto claims process and having the flexibility to meet your needs. Over 65 insurers nationwide use ACD to help drive their success. Transforming into a well-run operation that includes a virtual claims workflow is possible and we can help you get there.

* Named Best in Process Expedition in the 2017 Aite Report, Enhancing P&C Carriers’ Moment of Truth Through Innovation in Claims

Ready to go virtual? Consider these five questions

Q. What is virtual claims processing in auto insurance?
A.
It goes by many names: mobile self-service, photo estimating, virtual claims, desk estimating. But it boils down to this – a vehicle owner submits digital photographs of their accident damage through a technology platform to an adjuster at an insurance company or third-party vendor who generates an auto damage appraisal at a desk.

Q. Why is it different?
A. Because an expert field appraiser doesn’t have to make an in-person visit to inspect the vehicle and write an estimate.

Q. Is this something new?
A. No, it’s been used by insurers for years but was generally frowned upon until insurers began to realize that it can speed up the process on claims with minimal damage, increase customer satisfaction and lower needless costs.

Q. How do I get started and how long will it take?
A.
The key for an insurer who wants to move toward virtual should focus on integrating photo estimating into a superior workflow process. Photo estimating is a tool, and a great one at that, but to make it work effectively it must embed into a workflow platform that flexes to your business needs.

A virtual model must be flexible, customer focused and deliver great value to both the insurer and the policyholder. That being said, moving to a virtual model can be done in less than 30 days. While the transition is smooth, claims is still inherently a people, human touch business. And as much as the future vision is touchless claims, the true area of opportunity is a “touchless triage.” With a clear ability to quickly move claims within inspection channels, ACD is able to help a carrier put the right claims into the right hands for the right outcome.

Q. Who can I partner with?
A.
At ACD, we built a workflow platform that allows insurers to move to a virtual operation and still retain the best of traditional methods when needed (field appraisals, collision repair shops and salvage). A flexible workflow that can quickly move the right claim into the right inspection channel for the right outcome. As the auto claims leaders in process improvement, ACD will guide you on best practices and workflow analysis so your company is set up for success.