Solera has launched a virtual auto-estimate solution that will help auto insurers reduce delays when faced with a high volume of claims, increased employee turnover and rising expense ratios.
Called XpertEstimate, the solution relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to detect damage, recommend repairs, and generate a preliminary estimate based on a customer’s photos, and human appraisers to review and finalize the estimate. to finalize and handle all charges.
Solera said the service would help carriers facing “[h]higher employee turnover and rising expense ratios in claims handling. “This turnkey solution is highly scalable and built to meet the needs of insurers,” said Audatex’s parent company.
The process “enables the insurer to leverage our Solera Qapter AI estimating solution and a highly experienced appraiser to quickly provide a repair estimate based on submitted photos,” Bill Brower, VP Industry Relations, Solera, told Repairer Driven News.
Brower told RDN that the decision to use XpertEstimate will be up to both carriers and their customers. If the carrier chooses to use the service, the customer will be given the option to take photos using Solera’s Guided Image Capture solution “to complete the initial estimate quickly and easily so they can proceed with the repair.”
He said Solera would not disclose to 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 estimate and confirms the customer’s willingness to take and submit photos of the damage, Brower said.
The insurer then completes an assignment to Solera, either through a web-based user interface or through a system-to-system method. This triggers a text message to the vehicle owner asking them to use Solera’s Guided Image Capture solution to take pictures. The solution guides the customer in taking pictures at the right distance and angles.
The service does not apply in states that require an in-person vehicle damage inspection, Brower said.
Once the client submits the photos, Solera’s Qapter AI software prepares a line item estimate using advanced visual intelligence. The AI estimate and photos are immediately forwarded to a licensed car damage appraiser to compare the AI estimate with the photos and make any necessary adjustments. Once reviewed and finalized, the estimate and photos are sent electronically to the insurer for approval and payment.
When asked if the service will notify a customer when a vehicle is not safe to drive, Brower replied, “Because XpertEstimate is a solution intended to help the insurance company’s loss adjusters prepare the repair estimate, the customer communications typically come directly from the insurance company’s loss adjuster and repair shop. Typically, the rideable/non-rideable decision is made before the estimate and during the damage report while the customer is describing the damage to the insurance company’s representative.
Solera’s PartsNetwork provides real-time intelligent parts procurement and procurement, selecting alternative parts “in line with insurer requirements,” the company said.
Supplements are handled directly by the human appraiser and the coachbuilder. “The contact information for supplements is included in all estimates so the store knows who to contact if there are any questions or supplements,” Brower said. “The Solera appraiser takes care of the agreed surcharge change with the store and quickly submits it to the insurer for review and payment.”
He said XpertEstimate would benefit repairers by speeding up the claims process. “Repair shops can quickly receive both the final initial estimate and photos so they can order parts and schedule the repair without delay,” he said.
XpertEstimate also addresses a need expressed by customers in Solera’s recent Innovation Index Customer Survey, he said. In that survey, 79% of insurance customers said they would trust AI-powered auto claims, while 49% of customers prefer a fully digital self-service claims process, and 55% of customers with recent claims said they have taken vehicle photos and updated to insurance platforms.
Also in that survey, 70% of customers said they would switch insurers for a faster digital claims experience, up 3% from the previous year.
It’s a different picture among repairers, who reported experiencing scalability issues (64%) and internal shareholder adoption issues (51%) when deploying AI solutions. As a result, only 43% are confident that AI goals will be met within the next 12 months, according to the survey.
Claims automation has value for insurers in preparing preliminary estimates and identifying total loss vehicles, though full automation is still an unrealized promise, Mitchell’s parent company Enlyte said in a trend report published Monday.
“Although STP [straight-through processing] is a fundamental goal and certainly the long-term vision, but it is equally important to realize that manual valuations and human judgment remain key to the estimation process,” the report said.
Solera says AI for photo estimation is available to bodyshops, discusses repairer and insurer’s view on technology
The XpertEstimate solution uses Solera’s artificial intelligence photo estimation system, Qapter. (Provided by Solera)