Solera’s Intelligent Estimating helps the industry to combat inflation through improved repairability

  • The broader impact of the pandemic was compounded by rising inflation, fuelling the cost of parts
  • PZU’s successful rollout of Intelligent Estimating delivers early successes, including significant improvements in part repairability per claim
  • AI-based estimating standardizes damage appraisals, overcomes skill shortages, optimizes parts replacement and reduces carbon emissions

The collision repair industry continues to weather the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic, with skill shortages and scarcity of repair parts impacting cycle times and productivity. These challenges have been compounded by global inflation, compelling businesses to explore innovative tech solutions to offset these issues.

Insurers are recognizing the impact of next-generation technologies and the benefits of driving AI adoption in critical areas. Solera’s Innovation Index 2022 survey indicated how insurers ranked the return from digital transformation projects, with 55 per cent welcoming faster decision making and the ability to increase staff productivity. *

PZU benefits from adopting AI in workflow

Among the first to benefit from new tech was PZU, a pioneering Polish insurer that implemented AI in its estimating workflow. Since July 2021, its assessors estimated losses in over 45,000 claims assisted by Solera’s AI solution. Powered by the latest image processing technology, Qapter® Intelligent Estimating detects damage type and severity from vehicle images (taken by the driver or damage appraisers), producing a preliminary estimate ready for review in under three minutes.

Beyond saving time, AI-based estimating is helping insurers standardize the quality of estimates and overcome skillset shortages: “Qapter Intelligent Estimating helps unify and accelerate the inspection process across the entire country whilst resolving its growing skills gap. It takes considerable time to train damage appraisers, and retention of qualified people is becoming increasingly challenging. Thanks to Qapter, we are making our people more productive and helping our less experienced team members to ramp up their skills faster…” said Robert Zielonka, Director of Technical Claims Settlement for PZU. “By using the AI estimate as a second opinion, loss adjusters feel more confident about their work.”

Combatting inflationary costs

With ongoing supply chain challenges and inflation set to reach 7.4 per cent globally, the cost of parts replacement is putting additional pressure on motor claims. Marcos Malzone, VP, Product Marketing, Solera commented**: “As the average cost to replace parts makes up to 70% of the repair estimate, every effort to optimise repair opinions can help the industry to manage costs and reduce cycle times. For example, we estimate that insurers in Poland could save around 10 million USD annually for every percentage point improvement in repairability. Likewise, PZU has seen how Intelligent Estimating has helped improve repairability of parts, crucial to managing costs and reducing global carbon emissions.”***

Lowering carbon emissions

As the automotive industry embraces the global effort to reduce carbon emissions to 80% by 2050, the collision repair industry is looking for ways to contribute and meet its ESG objectives. According to research published in 2018 by the International Journal of Automotive Engineering (IJAE)****, the average CO2 generated in Japan when replacing an external body part is about 1.125 kilograms. With an estimated 2.5 million parts replaced in the Polish market every year, the introduction of AI estimating has the potential to save over 2 billion tons of CO2 every year.

Future-proofing the road ahead

Digital adoption within industries has been accelerated by COVID-19. A recent report by McKinsey suggests companies have increased their share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios by 7 years and by 10 years in developed Asia. During the pandemic, many companies have refocussed their offerings rather than making huge leaps in product development in the span of a few months. However, respondents expect these changes to be long-lasting.*****

This view is matched by Solera research, with global car insurers seeing the true value of accelerating AI adoption. 100 per cent of insurers surveyed are planning to invest in AI InsurTech software in the next 12 months. Marcos Malzone added: “Alongside the need to manage costs and time efficiencies, 46 per cent of insurers regard the customer experience as a key driver for implementing AI. More and more consumers desire a fully automated AI claims and repair experience with two-thirds of consumers prepared to switch insurers for a faster digital experience. ****** We remain a tech organisation and will continue to innovate our solutions with a key focus on AI to help customer future-proof their businesses whilst continuing to deliver a seamless end-to-end online experience for policyholders.

To learn more, visit www.qapter.com.

* EN-Qapter AI infographic assessor-2022 Solera in partnership wth Coleman Parkes surveyed over 2,000 consumers, OEM’s, dealers, repairers and insurers

**Worldwide Inflation by Country 2022 (inflationdata.com)

*** Solera Internal Data, July 2021- June 2022

**** International Journal of Automotive Engineering, July 2018

*****COVID-19 digital transformation & technology | McKinsey .

******Solera Innovation Index 2022 infographic (qapter.com)

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