Shop Owners Worried About Future of AI

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April 19, 2021—An increase in artificial intelligence has collision repair shop owners worried.

A report from Wired details several body shop owners' struggles with insurers using AI for appraisals. It’s a trend that has grown since the beginning of the pandemic as insurers quickly shifted from in-person visits to conducting estimates through photos and AI. 

While it has been beneficial for insurers, and customers seem to like the convenience of it, shop owners aren’t happy, the report found. 

“I'd say 99.9 percent of the estimates are incorrect,” Jeff McDowell, owner of Leslie's Auto Body in Fords, N.J., told the publication. “You can’t diagnose suspension damage or a bent wheel or frame misalignment from a photograph.”

However, it is a problem shops might be forced to get used to. Before the pandemic, about 15 percent of U.S. auto claims were settled using photos rather than in-person visits by adjusters, Bill Brower, the head of Auto Claims at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, told Wired. Now, it's 60 percent, and he expects it to reach 80 percent of claims by 2025.

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