Laying claim to the fastest reporting

The world of motor claims management is changing apace. The main challenge is that of achieving continuous improvement in claims management, whilst keeping claims’ costs as low as possible, thus minimising any possible knock-on effect of higher premiums.

There is growing awareness that faster reporting of accidents can greatly assist. If an insurer can be informed of an incident within four hours of it occurring, the costs should be lower. This should then also assist in minimising other possible settlement costs, such as those associated with credit hire vehicles.

Figures from fleet accident Management Company, Sopp + Sopp, show that whilst the average reporting time for a claim was previously 28 days, some fleet operators have now slashed this to less than one hour. In fact 75% of some operators’ accidents are reported in less than 60 minutes.

The use of technology has played, and will continue to play, a major part in this and will undoubtedly have a knock-on impact on the reporting and settlement of commercial and domestic motor claims. The prospect of automated claims notification is now on the horizon, with black box technology already used in some vehicles. In fact 75% of some operators’ accidents are reported in less than 60 minutes.

Telematics and dash cams provide a bank of data that will transform the claims landscape. Whilst understanding what had happened at an accident scene was once a case of guesswork and a trust in witness statements, technology can now be used to precisely confirm the speed at which a vehicle was travelling at the point of an incident, together with other relevant factors relating to the accident location.

These days valuable data is available in abundance, whether gleaned from CCTV cameras, drivers’ smart watches or general traffic and weather reports. An accurate picture can quickly be pulled together, helping claims handlers assess how accidents occurred and who might be at fault.

However, having data available and being able to use it is a different matter. Privacy rights may prevent claims departments accessing some data.

Much will depend on the availability and use of new technology. Car damage is being assessed via smartphones and tablets, rather than sending a loss adjuster out to view the vehicle. Judgement based on photographic evidence is becoming increasingly popular.

The other growing claims trend is for claims submissions to be done via portals that allow both parties in an incident to say who they agree is at fault. Around 90% of claims submitted in this manner go through this process uncontested, making the claim faster to handle and settle, because of its amicable nature.

In the coming months, we believe both insurers and third parties will battle fiercely to ensure they are the first to receive notification of a claim, developing apps and other reporting technologies to achieve this.

Motor claims handling and the associated costs of cases are being affected by the increasing sophistication of vehicles. Due to numerous automatic features, advanced parts and technologically advanced components, car repairs are becoming much more expensive, inflating claims settlements and putting upward pressure on motor premiums.

Within the world of motor claims, there is a huge opportunity for dedicated brokers to assist their client, by producing informed presentations of the risk when approaching an insurer for terms. Demonstrating that a client is committed to reporting incidents quickly, as well as using technology such as dash-cams and telematics, will help the client’s case when the risk is being analysed.

As we are still some way off automatic notification of claims from hi-tech cars, using a broker’s expertise makes perfect sense. To understand how we can help you navigate the claims process and ensure yours is a fast-reporting and insurer-friendly claims reporting process, please get in touch with us now.

Sources: Willis Towers Watson, Fleet Forum Review 2018 Allianz Future Fuels Document