April 29, 2015—Insurance company Nationwide recently introduced a program that the company says aims to speed up estimating on hail damage.
Automated Mobile Hail Estimating was piloted last year and will be rolled out across the country in the coming months.
Nationwide is the first carrier to implement this program as part of its claims strategy.
“This is a game-changing innovation that could significantly set the standard for how the industry identifies and estimates hail damage,” said Patrick Burnett, Nationwide associate vice president of material damage claims. “Our goal is to make the vehicle repair process as painless as possible by providing our customers with quick, accurate vehicle repair information on their time.”
The new tool is a mobile unit that is pulled with a truck and may be set up and operational in almost any environment within a few hours of reaching the site.
Advanced cameras identify the size of dents on a panel and extent of damage. The tool can count and differentiate the various sizes (nickel, dime, etc.) and then creates a splatter diagram of the vehicle showing each dent.
Nationwide is working toward system integration, which will allow hail data to feed into its estimating system, mitigating the work associated with taking a report and manually entering damage information into a separate estimating system.
Enhanced accuracy in identifying damage means a reduction in supplemental estimates and total reduced time. The actual scanning process takes minutes, and the back-end printouts are available in less than 10 minutes significantly reducing the amount of time and resources necessary to finalize a complete hail estimate.