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AIG’s Roger Wright on the Future of Claims

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Describe what you do at AIG and how it relates to collision repairers.

As vice president of Material Damage Process for AIG Personal Lines Claims, a division of AIG Marketing, Inc., I am responsible for the processes that impact our handling of auto physical damage claims. This includes our process for the inspection of the customer’s vehicle whether by staff, DRP or independent appraisal firm. Our department designs and manages the direct repair program, manages the independent appraisal firms and assists in the field training of our staff adjusters.

 

What are the major objectives for your department this year?

To reduce the number of assignments handled by independent appraisal firms by having more vehicles inspected by AIG Personal Lines staff and DRP. Also, to manage expenses associated with claims handling and assure that our customers have superior service with a quality repair.

 

What might collision repairers be surprised to learn about AIG?

AIG is among the top 10 writers of automobile insurance, with growth rates that exceed the industry average. Our Material Damage Senior Management team of eight Regional Material Damage Managers has more than 150 combined years of insurance experience coupled with more than 100 years of collision repair experience. The staff includes structural damage analysis professionals trained by Chief, as well as ASE Master Technicians, ASE Technicians, and MBA and Platinum I-CAR professionals. Continuous learning is a key objective for our MD team.

 

What advances within the insurance industry are having an impact on collision repair?

The industry has developed tools that provide the ability to quickly gather data that can be analyzed to provide early indicators of trends. The data is used to manage partnerships with collision repair shops resulting in improved customer satisfaction and repair quality.

 

What do you see ahead for AIG or your department?

At AIG Personal Lines, we areconstantly looking for more efficient ways to handle claims and to service our customers, both internal and external, without a sacrifice in quality. We aggressively look at tools that provide value and assist us in meeting these objectives.

 

What is it that the collision industry can do to improve relationships with insurers and specifically AIG?

Collision repairers need to continue to work on improving throughput. Shops average 2.5 hours per day and need to embrace the changes that are necessary to get that number to five to seven hours per day. Lean production, de-skilled labor segmentation and improved scheduling are just a few ways to meet this challenge. Insurers need to work with collision repairers to improve the process and not impede scheduling or disassembly to write a more accurate damage report. AIG Personal Lines is working with the collision industry for an improved process that meets the expectations of the shop, insurer and, most importantly, the vehicle owner.

 

Talk about the direction in which insurance-company DRP programs are headed.

The industry is seeing a change in the direction of DRPs, most evidenced by the recent change in State Farm’s program. Other insurers are also modifying their programs by reducing the number of shops they partner with in an attempt to have more vehicles repaired at fewer shops. The Concierge model in some form or another is also in play by the larger insurers that can generate the volume necessary for such a program. We are also seeing more performance-driven programs where economic incentives and disincentives are offered to shops that meet specific criteria in both service and quality.

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