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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made its way into all kinds of industries, from healthcare and finance to real estate and entertainment. It’s disrupted the insurance industry in a number of ways too, from determining rates to finding quotes and brokering policies as Jerry does.
Since the pandemic started, it’s also been heavily relied on for appraising claims. Stay-at-home policies pushed insurers away from sending adjusters to auto body shops and toward using photos and artificial intelligence instead.
Not everyone is happy with the change—namely, the mechanics and technicians repairing the damaged vehicles. They say the estimates made by A.I. are inaccurate, making the claims process longer and costlier for their businesses.
How do insurers appraise claims using AI?
Apps are nothing new to the insurance industry. Most auto insurers offer apps for usage-based policies to set rates and discounts on driver performance. Now, Wired says they’ve also started using them for collecting info on claims.
Drivers are directed by the insurance company’s app to photograph any damage to their vehicle, specifying angles and lighting to ensure they take the right shots.
AI then compares the photos to millions of other images of damaged cars, determines the needed repairs, and estimates the cost. Wired says the system can complete 15 to 20 estimates in the time a human adjuster can complete three to eight.
Why don’t mechanics like AI accurately estimate vehicle damage?
The time and money saved might make virtual appraisal worth it for insurers, but for autobody shops, it’s another story. Owners and their mechanics complain that the new system doesn’t value their time and expertise.
Jeff McDowell, owner of Leslie's Auto Body in Fords, New Jersey, explained the problem to Wired. “I'd say 99.9 percent of the estimates are incorrect,” he said. “You can’t diagnose suspension damage or a bent wheel or frame misalignment from a photograph.”
All those AI mistakes mean McDowell and other shop owners spend more time on the phone negotiating repair costs with insurers and less time doing the thing that makes them money—repairing cars.
How to make sure your claim is fair and error-free
If you ever dealt with an insurance adjuster and thought, ‘I don’t think they’re on my side,’ we have news for you—you were right. Whether you’re dealing with a human or an AI-powered app, adjusters and appraisers are there to save money for insurance companies, not for you.
That said, treating an adjuster like the enemy isn’t a good idea either. To get the best result, approach the situation as prepared and polite as possible. Make sure to get as much documentation for your claim as you can. Collect photos, receipts, and info on anyone involved in the incident.
You also need to know the contents of your insurance policy, inside and out. That’s where Jerry comes in. Jerry’s friendly agents are here to answer your questions and provide advice on the best coverage options. As your life changes, your insurance changes, and Jerry is ready to make those adjustments for you.