In a time when customer experience reigns, when we consider our processes to improve customer assistance after an auto insurance claim, we must ask ourselves: is there a place for photo estimation in my process?

Many want to do it but are bothered by the costs and the impact on their process. Photo estimation’s main drawback is the higher percentage of supplements per repair. This technique is also not the easiest to include in the claims process, but here is hope.

Time makes things better, and this really applies to photo estimation. Best practices are starting to emerge, and lately, even technology has come into play.

Let’s first consider an important fact; there is no better appraiser than the one who is part of the repair team. Distancing the appraiser from the repair team can sometimes contribute to increased post-claim supplements during the repair. So why not simply assign photo estimates to your collision shop network rather than working with expensive third parties who often don’t understand the reality of the collision shop that will commit to repairing the vehicle?

Photo estimating gives more flexibility to your clients who can’t go to the estimate appointment for different reasons. In this era of smart phones, working through an auto estimate is at the insured’s finger tips.

A good estimate process can also help reduce cycle time, from the first notice of loss to the delivery of the repaired vehicle to your clients.

With ProgiSync, an appointment managing system present in almost every Canadian collision shop, it becomes easy for insurers to dispatch estimate work within their network and choose the right supplier for the right repair and, most importantly, to add photo estimating to their process.

Additional benefit: when considering the COVID-19 episode, photo estimating allowed to advance files while preventing the spread of the coronavirus and avoiding in-person meetings between appraisers and clients.

Author: Alexandre Rocheleau
Revision and translation: Sophie Larocque