CSAA offers digital cameras to clients to boost claims experience

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Walnut Creek, Calif.-based CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer, is partnering with Owlcam, a Palo Alto, Calif-based provider of car security webcams and services, to improve the P&C insurer’s customer claims experience.

CSAA’s customers can opt to use Owlcam’s 4G LTE service, HD cameras and artificial intelligence to upload videos of accidents, break-ins and other incidents to report accidents and expedite the claims process. When their automobile is involved in an accident or someone breaks in, CSAA customers can view footage and then immediately share the clip with the insurer and law enforcement personnel.

CSAA Insurance Group is the first major U.S. P&C insurer to leverage Owlcam’s Video First Notice of Loss (vFNOL) feature. When an Owlcam-equipped vehicle experiences a crash or break-in, the device automatically sends a video clip to the driver’s phone. The drivers then access the Owlcam app to live-view the footage and then use the device’s real-time video upload capabilities to report the incident. The device – and data – are in the full control of the insured. Customers can choose whether or not to submit the information to CSAA Insurance Group.

Incorporating video into the claims process not only helps the insurer see what actually occurred with a loss and enables adjusters to make quick decisions but also improves customer satisfaction. “It reduces anxiety for customers and reduces the cycle time overall, improving the customer experience,” Hankins points out. “And the faster we can get the information, the faster we can get customers back on the road in pre-loss condition, which increases overall customer satisfaction.”

CSAA Insurance Group’s partnership with Owlcam started in May, 2017. AAA’s innovation team invests in start-up companies that align with its values and also offer technology that help the insurer meet challenges. AAA invested in the company early on. Owlcam launched as a company in February 2018.

“Owlcam sees value in the insurance space, and we see the value in digital connected cameras and devices in vehicles,” explains Cal Hankins, CSAA Insurance Group’s vice president of claims. “We’ve been sharing information ever since.”

Hankins explains that while video auto incident recording and reporting capabilities are already widespread in the P&C industry, the amount of video used in the claims process is increasing exponentially daily. “The industry isn’t completely ready for it, however, in terms of the systems and everything else,” Hankins points out. “We’re working with Owlcam to understand and to develop ways to communicate with our customers seamlessly.” CSAA Insurance Group also is learning how to organize the photos and digital information and make sure all communications are compliant.

Hankins said that the video reporting capabilities will transform the claims process significantly in the future. “Today, when customers are in an accident, they are accustomed to making a phone call to their insurer. Five years from now, customers won’t have to make these calls,” he adds.

CSAA Insurance Group will roll out the Owlcam capabilities later this month. Hankins points out that this release is version one and that he expects to learn some lessons along the way. “We will incorporate changes with our systems and Owlcam’s systems. This will help our mutual customers, but it will also allow Owlcam to expand within the insurance industry,” Hankins says.

CSAA Insurance Group is currently working on a wide variety of digital claims enhancements, some focusing on ways to enable an easier and faster claims experience for customers, and others to make the adjuster’s job more efficient. “We’re working with a vendor to enable automatic estimating using heat imagery and we’re also using AI learning to help automate and reduce hand-offs,” Hankins says. The insurer is also developing ways to use robotic process automation to automate manual processes so it can free up adjusters to work on more complex claims.

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