A DENT you won’t be mad about
If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be involved in a fender bender, you’ll know what an administrative nightmare it is … But this might be a thing of the past.
Enter Damage Estimate in Near Real Time (DENT) the latest automated risk management tool from Crashboxx Telematics, a company based in the United States (US). DENT will be distributed locally by vehicle telematics company Resource Tracking.
The South African company’s CEO, Vincent Gore, explains that this advanced, web-based software tool creates forecasts of the material damage cost to vehicles involved in accidents. Plainly put, DENT provides an initial repair cost estimate to insurers, at the very beginning of the claims process, even before the vehicle has been removed to a body shop.
Gore adds that the system is easy to learn and apply. “Within seconds DENT will deliver a report displaying the crash location on a Google map, the severity, crush inches and a forecast of the cost to repair the vehicle.”
So, as the product’s name states, this tool provides a damage estimate in near real time – improving efficiency in claims operation. “A significant challenge in the insurance claims process is the correct disposition, or triage, of a vehicle following an accident,” says Gore.
Usually, after an accident, a vehicle is towed to a local body shop, which will write up the cost using estimating software. But often the outcome is that the vehicle is, in fact, a total loss and not repairable. “This results in a significant unnecessary cost being borne by the insurer; storage costs, estimating fees and transport to a salvage auction,” explains Gore.
In the US it has been calculated that insurance companies are spending more than $1 billion (around R10 billion) annually on payments to body shops for handling total losses. Gore believes that by introducing DENT, insurers, fleet operators, contract hire firms and others in South Africa will be able to gain significant savings.
The product will make its local debut later this year and will initially be targeted for use by insurance claims call centre staff, enabling them to make an initial estimate of the severity and cost of the collision on the spot.