Esurance, an auto insurer, has added a feature to its mobile app to help customers settle claims. The feature can eliminate the need for an in-person visit from an Esurance claims appraiser, and could get the policyholders' cars back on the road quicker after a fender bender.

Esurance says that, once a policyholder has filed a claim, he can use his smartphone to photograph the vehicle damage and the car's VIN, and then submit the information through the Esurance mobile app. The information goes straight to the Esurance claims team, who reviews determines the available options for the customer. Next, the claims appraiser can contact the customer to discuss the repairs. Finally, to cover the damage, the customer could choose to have funds wired directly to his bank account, receive a check in the mail, or, if necessary, send in additional photos to finish the process.

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