Technology

Will Virtual Claims Survive or Thrive?

The Survival of Virtual Claims

Along with face masks, temperature guns, and corona guidelines in each corner of our vision, virtual claims for your car’s auto body damage will be added to the list of new normals. Is it here to stay, or just a quick fix for today’s COVID climate?

Customers & Body Shops

Customers

As technology advances, the convenience for a user advances as well. So far, we haven’t seen much change in the auto body industry when referring to the relationship between customers and body shops. Some insurance companies offer their insurers the ability to get their damages resolved via their mobile app if one chooses to go through their insurance. Start2Finish offers a way for users to use their smartphones to streamline their repair process as well.

According to a claims study done by LexisNexis, younger consumers are supportive of the idea of handling their claims digitally but baby boomers are mixed. With more and more consumers trying to limit their exposure to others, this may incentivize baby boomers to be more adoptive of the idea. Luckily, many have found the recent changes to be very useful.***I mean, shooting some pics and entering your VIN is a lot easier than going from shop to shop.

Some technology like Start2Finish goes as far as giving you the option to communicate with your shop in-app, schedule (or reschedule) drop off appointments, and provides real-time updates. A lot of time can be saved from consumers utilizing this technology, and customers seem to be welcoming the changes.

Body Shops

Being a business owner is never an easy task, especially when you have to deal with insurance companies and a pandemic. Any bit of technology to help ease the stress and increase efficiency is always welcome, with arms open wide.

One problem body shops have had a hard time adopting is the ability to give final estimates based on only the pictures of the car’s damage. This has proven to be a very difficult task to perform since auto body damage is prone to leaving underlying problems that would not be necessarily visible in pictures. This usually leads to a list of supplemental damages and false turn around time given to customers. Ultimately, the customer pays when a final quote is done wrong, which is why the technology and process must work in conjunction to not compromise the customer’s experience.

Start2Finish allows shops to view real customers seeking repairs in their area, ask questions, and provide an estimate. Customers then have the ability to review the shop’s information and submitted estimate, and can schedule for an in-person quote to finalize a price. Shops find this experience satisfactory for the most part, but one thing everyone in the industry can agree with is that there still is a long way to go.

The Verdict

Let’s face it, technology is moving our lives in one direction, and it seems once the software is developed and users have migrated, the process will never be the same again. There are too many reasons why virtual claims will not just be a fad and will be here to stay. Other than the obvious reason of avoiding unnecessary contact with others during a pandemic, technology advances are showing to benefit the average customer with added convenience and efficiency.

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