Authored by Pankaj Arora
Bang a vehicle and the immediate thought that crosses the owner's mind is the cost of repair and how long would the vehicle be held at the garage. During testing times like that of the COVID-19 outbreak, one even gets anxious that safety would have to be thrown out of the door to steer past an insurance claim.
If you are paranoid at the thought of insurance office visits and the number of people you would have to get in touch with, then calm down. Not just groceries, but insurance claims too have been delivered contact-free this summer.
Be it collisions while moving loved ones back home or vehicle damage when catastrophes Amphan and Nisarg struck, insurance claims have been redefined due to the digital architecture.
The added advantage has been that end-to-end claim processing time has been dwarfed by the simplest of repair timelines. Notifying an insurance claim, assessment of the damage and claim approval today can be done faster than one can swap a flat tyre.
The days of wait for an insurance surveyor to take a physical note of the vehicle damage are now defunct. Digitally-assisted claims are the new normal, where a car or a two-wheeler owner merely needs to stream a video to inspect the vehicle damage. This can be done even without an application sitting on your phone.
Crucial time leakage involved in a survey report post an accident is saved through this breakthrough technology and the policyholder doesn’t have to alter the schedule to suit the surveyor’s time slot. The live streaming offers the flexibility of conducting the survey at a convenient time.
A simple yet effective solution of online vehicle inspection using smartphone cameras or equipment fitted in garages has cut short the claims procedure that could take a couple of days to as short as 15-30 minutes. The quick assessment of the claim and instant cash for repairs being issued before one head out of a garage has enhanced the policyholder’s confidence.
For low-value claims, this is a critical shift as no time is wasted in waiting for an insurance claim assessment to kickstart the repair work. Garages too are reaping the benefits of the system as swift work order approvals have resulted in better space utilization for them.
Disruption through technology has managed to blur the geographical boundaries. So, a claim assessment is underway in metro cities even as the vehicle owner is based in remote locations.
Thus, automation presents a pocket-friendly and effective solution to insurance needs. Insurance companies have managed to not only save policy holder’s time but simultaneously provide them comfort and safety by implementing live streaming facilities.
Another transformation of the once-lengthy claims procedure – marred with paperwork – has been to use a one-time-password instead of a physical signature on claims forms during the social distancing period of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Looking in the rear mirror, we realize that crucial time needn’t be spent in digging documents as they are often stored in an insurance vault or claims servicing app. Digital claims forms with pre-filled details of the owner such as name, vehicle make, chassis number to have accelerated the claims process.Mundane tasks such as finding the garage within the network of an insurer can be accomplished in seconds using geolocation enabled on your phone.
While claims processes ideally need to be hassle-free for the policyholder, they should also be able to weed out frauds. Innovative software, which can detect whether a claim is genuine and trustworthy or not from a short-narrative video, ensures that frauds are kept at bay even as comfort isn’t compromised.
Next time you sweat at the thought of vehicle insurance claims, remember you wouldn’t have to run from pillar to post, but just breeze past insurance claims through your smartphone.
Pankaj Arora is Managing Director & CEO at Raheja QBE General Insurance Company