West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

Photo Estimating Makes Car Claims Easy During COVID-19

Photo estimating technology lets you skip the mechanic and quickly get an estimate.

By - Sep 25th, 2020 01:24 pm
Damaged car. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

Damaged car. (Pixabay License).

COVID-19 has brought on an increased reliance on technology in our everyday lives, and the very way we use technology is also changing. According to a statistic from a New York Times study, video conferencing apps like Zoom more than doubled their usage from the beginning of this year.

Beyond helping us stay in touch with friends, family and coworkers, quick, innovative responses to the pandemic and general technological advancements have provided a number of tools to help us safely navigate the challenges in our everyday lives — challenges like car accidents.

Having a damaged vehicle is stressful enough, even without the added obstacles brought on by COVID-19. Fortunately, photo estimating allows you to get your damaged vehicle appraised with just a few photos and a conversation with your claims representative, rather than hauling it to a repair shop for an estimate. Though photo estimating isn’t new, the pandemic has amplified the need for this technology.

Here’s what you need to know about photo estimating.

What is photo estimating?

At its core, photo estimating allows customers with vehicle damage to directly interact with their insurance company with just their mobile phone. Customers simply snap photos of the damaged vehicle and send it to the insurance company for appraisal. All the process requires is a mobile phone and about 10 minutes of your time.

How does it work?

After getting in touch with your claims rep, he or she will send a mobile-friendly link. You’re prompted to take photos of the damaged vehicle with your mobile device and upload those photos with additional details like the car’s make and model.

West Bend Mutual Insurance then uses artificial intelligence (AI) and heat mapping technology to calculate a repair estimate. Heat mapping shows the severity of damage on a vehicle by highlighting the damage as a color in two dimensions. With AI and heat mapping, the auto appraiser is able to write a repair estimate almost instantly.

Is photo estimating accurate? 

Thanks to AI technology, the accuracy of photo estimation technology is constantly improving. Analytics are collected from each claim, feeding new information into the system to improve appraisal accuracy. According to a release by CCC, a provider of technology for automotive, insurance, and collision repair industries, 9 out of 10 consumers prefer estimates delivered with a heat map that clearly highlights the vehicle’s damage. This combination of AI and heat mapping provides claims representatives and customers with real benefits while keeping in-person contact to a minimum.

What is the benefit? 

Two major benefits of using photo estimating are convenience and speed. With photo estimating, there’s no need to visit a repair facility to have your damaged vehicle inspected; this can be a big relief while we’re social distancing. It takes an estimated four hours to complete the entire process, all from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Though photo estimating isn’t new to the insurance industry, it’s grown and become more accurate over time and is proving to be a crucial tool as we navigate a pandemic – and our daily lives.

Other helpful West Bend resources:

Photo Estimating

Estimating vehicle damage just got easier

Visit thesilverlining.com to learn more about photo estimating or to be connected with an agent.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us