CCC Intelligent Solutions has released its Crash Course 2023 report, which covers the latest P&C insurance and collision repair industry insights and trends. According to CCC, this year’s report is “all about experience”, specifically the role technology plays in creating customer-centric experiences through improved communication and more intelligent use of data and analytics.
The pandemic changed many things, including which companies people choose to do business with, including insurers and vehicle repairers. CCC says consumers have grown to expect the same simple, seamless, and positive interactions they experience in other aspects of their lives. If those expectations are not met, they will quickly move on.
As a result, the industry is undergoing a customer experience overhaul, focusing on loyalty and retention, to drive profitable growth. Raising the bar in service and keeping customers happy is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must-have’.
CCC says this underscores the important role played by technology in delivering improved communication and more intelligent use of data and analytics that, when combined with empathy when it is most needed, create “truly desirable customer-centric experiences”.
The company published five key takeaways from the 2023 report:
AI TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING STREAMLINE THE P&C CLAIMS JOURNEY
Insurance carriers are rapidly adopting advanced technology such as AI and machine learning to improve turnaround time for claims. CCC says 27 per cent of all repairable vehicle claims are initiated using photos, and over 100 of the more than 150 carriers allowing policyholders to send photos of vehicle damage use AI to inform decisions throughout the claim process, including next steps for having the vehicle repaired.
AI is advancing quickly, creating step change opportunities for the industry. CCC says insurers applying mobile, AI, and telematics technologies can cut the claims cycle time by up to a third, so “it’s not surprising” that 84 per cent of policyholders prefer a digitised claims process.
TECHNOLOGY HELPS OFFSET CUSTOMER FRUSTRATIONS WITH VEHICLE OWNERSHIP AND REPAIR
CCC says cars are now like smartphones on wheels with more than 1400 computer chips controlling everything from airbags to the engine, and that is just the average vehicle. More complex vehicle parts, which are particularly prevalent now with more ADAS-equipped vehicles and the uptick in EV sales, are more difficult and costly to replace, while there aren’t enough repair technicians, particularly enough skilled in how to complete more complex repairs. However, CCC says insurance companies can keep policyholders happy as repair costs and cycle times continue to climb because of technology. An AI-enabled customer experience, for example, helps carriers and repair facilities communicate more transparently and manage policyholder expectations through frequent, customised, omni-channel updates and alerts.
TELEMATICS DATA HELPS IMPROVE DRIVING HABITS AND LOWERS PREMIUMS
As insurance rates rise, CCC says more consumers express interest in usage-based insurance (UBI) policies relying on telematics data analysis. As most new vehicles now come equipped standard with ADAS, autonomous features, and connected car technology, crash data has become a lot easier to capture. Participation in UBI programmes has doubled since 2016, with 16 per cent of insurance customers now sharing vehicle data with their insurer to demonstrate safer driving for lower premiums. Additionally, a growing number of telematics solutions can detect accidents and provide real-time data to initiate claims faster, reducing cycle times and providing a concierge-like customer experience.
‘DELTA-V’ DATA ANALYSIS CAN HELP GET CASUALTY CLAIMS OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Americans are driving heavier and more powerful vehicles, which means collisions are now more severe and potentially lethal. With rapid advancements in physics-sensitive AI, CCC says impact severity data – also known as ‘delta-v’ – can be generated directly from photos uploaded to the insurer, as opposed to waiting for an estimate to be written. This helps insurance carriers triage casualty workflows more efficiently, reducing processing time, and creating a more seamless experience for policyholders who are especially vulnerable after a traumatic event.
LABOUR SHORTAGES CONTINUE, BUT TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP FILL IN THE GAPS
The collision repair and insurance industries are experiencing notable labour shortages, and the nature of the type of labour required to successfully repair a vehicle is changing rapidly. Manual estimates and appraisals are taking longer, vehicle repair backlogs are reaching an all-time high, and shop productivity has fallen below pre-pandemic levels, all of which prolong claim cycle times and drive down customer satisfaction.
CCC says that now, more than ever, it is essential for the automotive, P&C insurance, and collision repair industries to stay current on new technologies, tooling, and training to bridge the gap and provide better customer experiences as vehicle complexity and capacity constraints continue to grow.