Smartphone technology facilitating customer collaboration with insurers

By Aaron Brunko June 19, 2017

Until very recently, documenting home or motor damage or creating a spreadsheet of stolen property had been best left to insurance professionals. Now, our customers can be collaborators who can do some or all of that documentation themselves. The involvement of customers is set to transform the way claims are handled.

The ubiquity of smartphones opened the doors to these opportunities. According to a 2016 Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey, four out of every five adults in the UK carry a smartphone. That means 80 per cent of our customers have full-time access to the Internet, a high-definition camera with video, and impressive computing.

Verisk has created products with the smartphone user in mind. If someone can use Facebook or Google Hangouts, for example, he or she has all the skills needed to record and transmit video that documents damage with enough information to begin resolving an insurance claim. Users are also able to participate in an online portal discussion concerning their claim.

Now, insurers can invite their customers to use their smartphones to record losses and help restore the value of their property, whether for motor claims or personal or structural property. The change is a win/win, increasing customer satisfaction and lowering claim-handling costs.

And the opportunities are expanding. Technological tools initially designed for property insurance claims can now be used for motor accident claims, commercial losses, liability claims, workers’ compensation, and, most likely, in additional ways that we haven’t even thought of yet.

For example, live video collaboration was created to allow a representative working at a desktop computer to coach a customer in real time to use a smartphone to live-stream damage from a home. The video, live commentary, and high-resolution imagery would be recorded and, in many cases, could be used to settle a simple claim or determine if a follow-up visit to the site was needed.

But the same technology that allows a customer to record video and audio information in real time for losses can also be used to capture customer data for all kinds of uses, such as documenting information for new policies. The information can be then stored on the insurers’ servers and accessed in case of loss.

Messaging technology, team participation, contents inventorying, and video-on-demand tools can be used in a variety of ways—and insurers can pick and choose which tools work for them as well as for their customers. For example, if a policyholder already has a picture of herself on Facebook wearing jewelry that was later stolen, she can add this documentation using a collaboration portal for proof of ownership.

Some companies are using the technology for messaging alone. Others are using it to gather photos, video, receipts, and all kinds of documentation—and then adding that information to the claim file.

All of these tools are available on Verisk’s ClaimXperience™ platform. Initially created for the property insurance industry, ClaimXperience integrates seamlessly with Xactware products Xactimate®, XactContents®, and XactAnalysis®, and it also works in a stand-alone environment.


Aaron Brunko

Aaron Brunko is Xactware’s assistant vice president of ClaimXperience, Claims Solutions. Aaron’s team is responsible for creating products that connect policyholders to the Xactware ecosystem to enhance their “ClaimXperience” and increase efficiencies for claims professionals. He also serves on the Xactware Senior Leadership Committee, where he helps create claims solutions across all products. Aaron joined Xactware in 2001 and has worked in technical support, quality assurance, Xactimate testing, national account sales, training, and implementation (as project manager) and as a technical account manager and a project manager for XactContents. Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University.