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Accident claims: How AI can save consumers billions

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Artificial Intelligence is taking the world by storm, especially with the latest tech hit, ChatGPT, going viral.

If you haven’t heard of or tried ChatGPT, it’s a highly advanced artificial intelligence tool that you can use to ask any question, and in return, it will provide you with an intelligent, well-written answer back — all within seconds.

From writing essays to typing up software code, producing song lyrics to doing advanced calculations and more — ChatGPT is fast becoming what Google was for search when it launched back in 1998.

ChatGPT, though, is not the only advanced AI tool being developed. Tech giants, ranging from Google to Amazon, are also playing in this space and we can expect to see more tools hit the market in the months and years to come.

However, there is also a more unseen, practical side of AI that has the potential to save hours of time and money for several industries and consumers. And I’ll highlight just one of these practical implementations for the automotive sector.

Speeding up accident claims

Currently, car accident claims are a very slow and cumbersome process.

When you’re in a car accident, what normally happens is that you’ll call your insurance provider and then register a claim. What ensues is then a lengthy process where your car will either be assessed, by appraisers, at an assessment centre or a panel beater. These appraisers then quantify the damage and send that quantification back to the insurer.

The insurer then takes a long look at the claim, maybe moderates it, studies the pricing of the parts, and then tries to figure out where they can get the best repair work done, at the best cost.

If after all of this, the claim is authorised, the insurer will direct you to take your vehicle to a panel beater that they’ve selected. Eventually (and hopefully) your car is fixed, and you can then be on your way.

It’s clear that the cycle time here is long, with a lot of people involved. Because there are so many people involved, there’s the risk of human error — or worse — price manipulation and fraud.

In a bid to save consumers and insurers billions of rands, it’s far better to opt for an AI driven process for accident claims.

Claims, done the AI way

Let’s say we’re dealing with the same car accident as mentioned above, but this time you as the driver are using an AI-driven claims process from your insurer.

Instead of having an assessor coming out to look at your car, you will get a WhatsApp message with a link in it from your provider. Using that link, you’ll be prompted to take 4-5 photos of the damage to your car on your phone.

An AI engine then runs the pictures through its algorithms and quantifies the damage and estimated repair costs and parts required, all within minutes.

The insurer then sees this information and validates it to ensure they are getting the best price and highest quality repair. The insurer makes use of a fair parts system, which includes both OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) parts. OEE parts are manufactured to the same quality standards as OEM parts, often by the same manufacturers, but cost up to 50% less. With the economy being as tough as it is, no one is complaining about being able to save.

In addition, AI can also provide real-time updates on the progress of the repair, which can help to keep the insurance company and the policyholder informed.

Ultimately, AI has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of the automotive repair process in the insurance industry. By automating the estimate review process and providing more accurate repair cost estimates, AI can help to save huge amounts of time and money on premiums as insurers process their claims more efficiently.

At Apollo Studios, we’ve already developed this technology in what is a first for the SA market. We’ll be talking more about it in the coming months. It’s early days but we are already working with several large insurance partners, and we have also been recognized by Discovery Insure as their innovation partner of the year.

AI is bringing exciting changes to our world.

By Filum Ho, CEO of Apollo Studios

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