New research released today by Solera Holdings, Inc. which analyzes data, applications and services for the insurance and automotive industries, found that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of consumers trust automotive claims driven entirely by Artificial Intelligence (“AI”). The survey also identifies crucial barriers to AI adoption for global car insurers, enterprise body shops, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEM”) dealer networks.
Since 2016, millennials have represented the largest generation in the workforce. Their expectations and prolific use of digital tools influence purchasing and even retention decisions in all categories, including automotive insurance and repairs.
According to Solera’s survey, most claimants have previous experience using automotive digital claims technology; 56% had submitted a claim online and 51% had used digital technology to track the status of a claim. However, many more were seeking a fully automated experience with 72% of respondents citing confidence in an automated claims and repair journey.
“We’ve reached a point where leading companies are placing top priority on adapting and integrating cutting edge technology to differentiate and optimize customer experience. Those that don’t, will face competitive challenges,” said Evan Davies, chief technology officer, Solera. “This survey simply underscores what Solera has known to be true for some time; automated processes have the power to increase customer satisfaction and even customer retention.”
Survey findings show that two-thirds (67%) of consumers would switch insurers for a faster digital experience and 73% would choose an insurer using AI to process claims quicker.
More digital channels wanted
In addition to the desire for their insurance companies to use modern systems, consumers are interested in these capabilities along the entirety of the automotive repair journey. More than three-quarters (78%) would favor a repair shop that provides more digital channels to quote, book, and track repairs.
There are challenges to upgrading legacy systems and, according to the Solera survey, those barriers differed among respondents. While cost was cited as the top barrier among both car insurers (52%) and enterprise body shops/OEMs (41%), a deeper analysis of the data showed that large insurers must overcome distinct obstacles compared to other market participants.
Large insurers cite time to market (62%), upskilling existing workforce (52%) and scalability (52%) as their largest challenges. Body shops and OEM dealers are more concerned with challenges related to systems and business stability. Thirty-five percent of body shops and OEM dealers identified the constraints of legacy IT systems, unknown return on investment, and time to market as key challenges to incorporating AI.
“Wide-scale adoption of any revolutionary technology presents inevitable challenges and concerns for small and large businesses, which is why it’s even more critical that these companies invest with a proven and leading technology provider,” said Davies. “We provide real value to our customers by integrating AI and advanced technologies at all touch points of the claims workflow, from first notice of loss all the way through repair; something not all solutions have.”
Prior to 2020 and COVID-19, the use of modern technologies, particularly those eliminating in-person contact, were considered a nice-to-have. Now, in many cases, it is crucial that businesses provide customers with touchless interactions. Following the pandemic as a driver of digital transformation, the highest ranked catalysts for car insurers were growth strategies (36%), employee safety and remote working (34%), and customer demand for digital experiences (33%). Body shops and OEMs cited employee safety and remote working and demand from customers to engage via online channels as main drivers (37%), with 36% citing the desire to modernize the workflow.
“It is clear that organizations understand how AI can build resilience and improve customer journeys. Finding the right blend of data and technology is the key to optimizing investments to unlock speed, intelligence, and efficiency at scale. Only then can our industry see the highest return on digitization through a faster, more accurate repair claims process,” Davies added.