Solera has launched a virtual automated estimating solution that will help auto insurers reduce delays when faced with high claims volumes, increased staff turnover and rising expense ratios.
Dubbed XpertEstimate, the solution relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to detect damage, recommend repairs and create a preliminary estimate based on a customer’s photos, and human assessors to review and finalize the estimate and any amendments to edit.
Solera said the service would help carriers dealing with “[h]higher fluctuation rates and rising cost ratios” in the event of a claim. “This turnkey solution is highly scalable and tailored to the needs of insurers,” said Audatex’s parent company.
The process “allows the insurer to use our Solera Qapter AI estimating solution and a highly experienced surveyor to quickly generate a repair estimate based on the photos submitted,” Bill Brower, VP Industry Relations, Solera, told Repairer Driven News.
Brower told RDN that the decision to use XpertEstimate rests with both the carriers and their customers. If the carrier chooses to use the service, the customer will be given an option to take photos with Solera’s Guided Image Capture solution “to quickly and conveniently complete the initial estimate so they can proceed with the repair.”
He said Solera would not disclose its insurance customers, but added that the solution is “being used with great success today.”
The process begins when a customer reports a claim to their insurer, who determines whether the claim qualifies for a virtual appraisal and confirms the customer’s willingness to take and submit photos of the damage, Brower said.
The insurer then completes an order with Solera, either through a web-based user interface or a system-to-system method. This will trigger a text message to the vehicle owner encouraging them to use Solera’s Guided Image Capture solution to take photos. The solution guides the customer when taking photos at the correct distance and angle.
The service doesn’t apply in states that require an in-person inspection of vehicle damage, Brower said.
Once the customer submits the photos, Solera’s Qapter AI software uses advanced visual intelligence to create a line item estimate. The AI estimate and photos are immediately sent to a licensed auto damage adjuster to review the AI estimate against the photos and make any adjustments needed. Once reviewed and finalized, the estimate and photos will be sent electronically to the insurer for approval and payment.
When asked if the service will notify a customer when a vehicle becomes unsafe to drive, Brower replied, “Because XpertEstimate is a solution designed to help the insurance company’s assessors estimate the cost of the repair, the Customer communication usually directly from the insurance company’s expert repair shop. Most of the time, the drivable/not drivable decision is made prior to the estimate and during the claim process when the customer describes the claim to the insurance company representative.”
Solera’s PartsNetwork provides intelligent, real-time parts sourcing and procurement, choosing alternative parts “in line with the insurer’s needs,” according to the company.
Supplements are handled directly by the human appraiser and body shop. “Contact information for supplements is included with all estimates so the store knows who to contact if questions or supplements arise,” Brower said. “The Solera appraiser secures the agreed addendum change with the deal and quickly submits it to the insurer for review and payment.”
He said XpertEstimate would benefit garages by speeding up the claims process. “Collision repair shops can get both the final initial estimate and images quickly so they can order parts and plan the repair without delay,” he said.
XpertEstimate also fills a need expressed by customers in Solera’s recent Innovation Index customer survey, he said. In this survey, 79% of insurance customers said they would trust auto claims with AI, while 49% of customers prefer a fully digital, self-service claims process, and 55% of customers with recent claims said they had vehicle photos taken and updated to have to insurance platforms.
Also in this survey, 70% of customers said they would switch insurers for a faster digital claims experience, up 3% year over year.
The situation is different for workshops, which stated that they faced scalability problems (64%) and internal acceptance problems by shareholders (51%) when implementing AI solutions. As a result, only 43% are very confident that AI goals will be met within the next 12 months, according to the survey.
Claims automation has value for insurers in generating preliminary estimates and identifying totaled vehicles, although full automation is still an unrealized promise, Enlyte, Mitchell’s parent company, said in a trends report published Monday.
“Although STP [straight-through processing] While a fundamental goal and certainly the long-term vision, it is equally important to recognize that manual evaluations and human judgment remain key to the estimation process,” the report states.
Solera says the AI available for body shops is appreciated with photos and discusses the views of workshops and insurers on the technology
The XpertEstimate solution leverages Qapter, Solera’s artificial intelligence photo estimation system. (provided by Solera)