Claims Bridge offers free 2021 AI hail estimating system tryouts to U.S. insurers
By John Huetter on November 2, 2020
Society of Collision Repair Specialists, Repairer Driven News
The Claims Bridge on Thursday announced it had brought its Australian artificial intelligence hail estimating system EziClaims Suite to the U.S.
The company said it would give insurers free enterprise subscriptions to try out the tech in 2021.
“Initially developed for the Australian market, EziClaims Suite enables insureds to easily capture the hail damage to their vehicles on their mobile device, and then engages them to choose, schedule or reschedule an appointment with a repair shop,” Claims Bridge President David McDonald said in a statement. “Since many areas in the U.S. also suffer from catastrophic hail events, we felt insurers and their customers in North America would greatly benefit from the technology platform.”
Customers don’t have to download an app, according to Claims Bridge Americas President Bill Park. Instead, they begin the process by clicking on a link sent to them.
Park said in a statement the customer’s photography and documentation role can take “less than five minutes”
“From the data provided by the insured, the software immediately calculates a provisional estimate of the cost of repairs,” Claims Bridge operation and customer experience Senior Vice President Jerry Volquardsen said in a statement. “Then, the smart triage application recommends the most efficient and effective way to repair the vehicle or identify it as a total loss.”
Volquardsen elaborated on the AI in an email Thursday.
“There are two modules within the EZi Suites that utilizes AI algorithms,” he wrote. “The first module is a cloud based app that walks the vehicle owner through a triage process that analyzes differing levels of damage which allows the system to recommend the best lane of Estimating/Repair. The four lanes are PDR only, PDR/Convectional, Conventional and Total Loss.
“The second module is called EZI estimating. The vehicle owner can gather samples of the hail damage and enter the samples into the EZi app. The System uses algorithms to calculate the amount of damage based on the surface areas.”
The Claims Bridge said the system allows the customer to set up an appointment for one of the repairers in its network. “This includes a significant network of paintless dent repair (PDR) facilities, which Volquardsen said is the fastest and lowest-cost way of repairing hail damage,” the Claims Bridge wrote.
The company’s website says its network includes more than 1,300 “body shops” and more than 2,000 “certified repair technicians.” These permit “90% rural coverage in the hail belt” and says “unaffiliated partners” can handle the other 10 percent of work identified by the software.
It says insurers can potentially save up to 40 percent and see “touch points” cut by 50 percent.
The company said insurers who already had built a digital hail management system wouldn’t have to tear it apart to use EziClaims Suite.
“This is a turnkey solution that requires no integration; just a simple, secure file transfer,” Volquardsen said in a statement. “EziClaims Suite works alongside and complements the insurers’ existing claims operations and systems and can therefore be deployed quickly and cost- effectively. It’s as Ezi as that!”
Repairers affiliated with insurers testing out the product might see slightly less work in 2021 — and possibly a bigger impact down the road if the test and Claims Bridge network impress.
The company’s free enterprise subscription is available for the 2021 hail season. Getting the freebie requires an insurer “committing to a small allocation of repairs through the TCBI PDR/national repair network” in exchange, according to the Claims Bridge’s website.
“This small allocation of repairs can be alongside the existing allocation to other repair shops, so the two workflows can be compared,” the Claims Bridge’s website states.
“… As part of the service, TCBI will provide a comprehensive report on the performance of the EziClaims Suite and repair network, with an estimate of the commercial and customer benefits.”