A Car Insurance Claim Estimate Before the Tow Truck Is Called

As insurance companies have pulled their employees out of the field, the use of virtual estimates has jumped. CCC Information Services, a Chicago company that markets its own A.I.-enhanced Quick Estimate app to insurers, recently reported a 125 percent increase in app use since March — even though traffic levels and accident numbers plunged when states locked down.

Even before the pandemic, major U.S. carriers were exploring the use of A.I. to speed claims settlement. Liberty Mutual’s in-house technology incubator, Solaria Labs, began work on an A.I. estimating algorithm in 2018. The company now uses it to give appraisers a head start on estimates.

USAA took a different approach. Rather than develop its own algorithm, it teamed with Google. Customers can upload photos of their damaged cars for analysis by Google Cloud’s Vision API. That damage assessment is then handed off to another partner, Mitchell International, which also uses A.I.

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