Filed Under:Claims, Auto

Physical Damage Auto Claims

Dealing With All of Their Moving Pieces

In today’s claims environment, a physical damage claim is not handled solely by the adjuster. Rather, it is passed along a lengthy line of multiple parties inside and outside the claims organization. Staff and third parties, including tow companies, rental agencies, salvors, parts suppliers, other insurers, and glass companies, make up this “extended enterprise,” which consists of all the individuals that need to collaborate at some point during the process of settling a claim. With so many handlers involved, how do managers promote efficiency throughout the varying stages of the claim?

When it comes to improving performance management, increased communication during the claims process is instrumental in raising efficiency levels. Because reductions in cycle time and loss adjustment expense (LAE) are dependent upon moving the claim quickly, a miscommunication that slows down the process may be costly. How does a claims manager prevent increased settlement time or reduced accuracy from a missed connection point with field staff or a third party? The answer resides within the underlying platform that supports an insurer’s physical damage workflow. With the right set of support tools, an insurer can easily share information across the extended enterprise, thereby accelerating the claims process significantly and ensuring that customers are delivered the best possible outcome, increasing satisfaction. 

Preventing Delays

Parts optimization is another area that has potential to benefit from improved communication across the extended enterprise. Some insurers have guidelines in place for parts utilization on estimates. At a first glance, a desk reviewer may reject an estimate for a 2001 Toyota Corolla that specifies an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hood. But what if the only available aftermarket hood is on back order, or a recycled hood is not available from a nearby junkyard? By being able to collaborate with the desk reviewer up front electronically, the appraiser can make the right economic trade-off where appropriate. If the cycle time delay is more costly than the savings on the part, then the appraiser can then go with the new part and avoid a negative impact to their key performance indicators (KPIs) during desk review. On the back end, this prevents delay in the approval of the claim as well as unnecessary rework.

Evaluating the System

When looking for a single vendor solution for your physical damage workflow, the following requirements can be used to assist in your assessment:

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