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Accident Support Services International Ltd. (ASSI, Toronto) has announced its entry into the U.S. auto insurance market through a partnership with Insurance Solutions Group (ISG, Chicago). ASSI works on a public/private partnership with police departments to provide enhanced accident reports to insurance carriers in expedited fashion.
ASSI’s entry into the U.S. market represents the introduction of a disruptive model for front-end aspects of claims service, and one that numerous law enforcement agencies are anxious to adopt, having heard about the success of the program from their Canadian counterparts, according to Stephen Applebaum, managing partner, ISG. ASSI makes the reports available to participating insurance carriers for what Applebaum characterizes as a modest transaction fee.
“The U.S. auto claims process has been gradually improved through the implementation of technology-enabled information management and workflow enhancements; however, the front-end of the process—from the moment of an accident through to carrier initiation of claim and related support services—continues to be highly inefficient, protracted and not particularly customer-friendly,” Applebaum comments. “The ASSI accident reporting model resolves these issues with an innovative and highly effective solution.”
ISG is currently working in partnership with ASSI’s management team to execute the U.S. market entry strategy. The partnership’s U.S. team is partially in place and has made contact with key P&C insurance industry associations and auto insurance carriers, according to an ISG statement. “ASSI has established relationships with police departments across the U.S. who are anxious to implement this program, and we are now actively recruiting top-tier carriers to participate in pilot programs in selected markets,” Applebaum says.
ASSI’s model begins with the establishment of public/private partnership with police departments at company-owned, co-located Collision Reporting Centers, as well as within police stations in smaller markets. Drivers are directed to report to their nearest Collision Reporting Center, where ASSI staff take photographs and statements to complete accident reports.
“ASSI’s digitized accident report in each market incorporates the standard official local police report but adds roughly another 100 fields of information which carriers need and value, as well as nine photos of the vehicle, damage area, interior and contents,” explains Applebaum.
All information gathered is entered into ASSI’s proprietary CROMS (Collision Reporting and Occurrence Management) database and reporting system. Reports are then reviewed and accepted by policy officers located in the Centers and simultaneously transmitted electronically to the drivers’ insurance carriers. Drivers may then use the Centers’ hotline phones to contact their insurance companies to begin the claim and repair process. In markets currently served, the process is completed within four hours of the accident in 50 percent of cases, according to ISG.
Quicker Claims Response & Adjudication
“Benefits of this process include much quicker claim response and adjudication times, shorter claim cycle times, savings on towing and storage fees, reduced fraud and overall claim cost reductions,” Applebaum asserts.
The potential benefits of ASSI’s process, if applied across the U.S. market could reach $10 billion, without considering customer satisfaction and retention, according to ISG. ASSI’s current clients represent an 80 percent share of the Canadian auto insurance market.
Additional ASSI services include the aggregation of claims, underwriting and road safety analytics data, as well as providing policyholders with use of facilities, access to rental vehicles, and dedicated telephones. ISG summarizes the benefits of ASSI’s services as follows:
- Expediting availability of highly detailed, timely and accurate accident reports by coordinating all accident reporting activities between police departments and insurance carriers;
- Helping carriers to avoid fraud by fully documenting accident damage and vehicle contents in real time, thereby also saving them money through lower towing and storage fees;
- Helping carriers reduce the cost of unnecessary attorney involvement by enabling insurance adjusters to contact the insured immediately;
- Supporting improved customer experience, satisfaction and retention; and
- Enabling law enforcement agencies to meet increasingly tighter budgets by not having to attend the high volume of routine traffic accidents, thus benefitting the community by allowing police to spend time on more serious matters.