According to a recent survey by the Association of British Insurers, insurance companies in the UK pay out more than £1.8 million every single day in ‘escape of water’ claims. That’s a staggering amount of money — and it’s likely to rise over the coming years as climate change-related water incursion events increase in frequency.
For insurance companies and insurance brokers, the costs associated with escape of water claims go far beyond monetary payouts to policyholders. Overheads begin to accrue as soon as policyholders contact call centre staff, and they continue to rise when loss adjusters assess damage. The more hours invested in claims assessment, the more insurance companies have to pay out across the board.
In this article, we’ll reveal how technology can improve claims handling, reduce costs and improve the customer experience. We’ll explore how AR tech can:
Help to reduce additional water damage
Deliver virtual on-site expertise
Guide repair work remotely
What is Augmented Reality?
Before we explain how augmented reality helps to improve the water damage insurance claims process, let’s touch on what AR tech actually is. In a nutshell, AR is an enhanced version of the real world. In practical terms, that usually equates to an image — either a photo or real-time imagery — with an AR overlay on top of it.
How Does AR Work?
Despite its surprising functional aptitude, AR isn’t magic. Instead, AR programs and smartphone apps use sensor data to seamlessly combine the real work with the virtual world. Smartphones have a lot of built-in sensors, so they’re an ideal hardware option for AR.
In 2020 and early 2021, social distancing measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in AR development. Large companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon all expanded into — or devoted more resources to — AR-assisted tech and AR development platforms.
Let’s take a look at three different examples of AR in action in the real world.
Possibly one of the best known examples of AR ‘in the wild’, Google Glass is a voice and motion controlled wearable device. It runs on the Android platform, and it projects an image onto a prism in the user’s field of vision to create an AR experience. Google Glass’ central processing unit (CPU) ‘lives’ in a small module attached to one side of the device.
Google originally had a large target market for Google Glass. Now, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition and Enterprise Edition 2 smart glasses are aimed at hands-on workers in various industries, including engineers, technicians, automobile assembly line workers and logistics professionals.
The IKEA Mobile Apps
IKEA launched its very first Apple mobile app way back in 2017. Designed by IKEA’s own development studio, SPACE10, IKEA Place lets consumers ‘put’ an item of furniture in a specific spot. IKEA’s latest app, IKEA Studio, is much more powerful: iPhone users can now design entire rooms at once with the app.
IKEA Studio uses embedded iPhone 12 Pro LiDAR technology to generate an accurate three dimensional virtual rendering of a space. After that, users can drop sofas, chairs, tables and accessories into the scene.
Fixzy Assist is a groundbreaking remote assistance app. It effectively puts an expert ‘in the room’ with the app user; app users could include field service technicians, plumbers, construction workers and other hands-on professionals. Fixzy Assist users can create interactive 3D CAD-style drawings using the app’s integrated AR measuring tool, and they can ‘pause’ the app and draw on the screen to highlight issues.
One of Fixzy Assist’s most useful features is hand overlay. From a function perspective, that feature allows an off-site technician to guide an app user through a procedure. In an escape of water claims case, Fixzy Assist’s AI-enhanced computer vision can detect water damage quickly and accurately.
Tech Perk 1: Damage Reduction
Let’s focus on Fixzy Assist as we move into tech perks. With Fixzy Assist in hand, loss adjusters and tradespeople can detect and record water damage almost instantly — some of which might be almost invisible to the naked eye. Equipped with that data, remote technicians and industry professionals ‘on scene’ via Fizxy Assist can rapidly pinpoint the probable source of the incursion and work to prevent further water damage.
Tech Perk 2: Virtual Expertise
Insurance companies can integrate Fixzy Assist into a consumer-facing portal online. In real-world escape-of-water scenarios, policyholders can use the cloud-based app to record room measurements, capture structural water damage and take pictures of spoiled items. Loss adjusters based in offices can use those details to formulate and approve claims.
Tech Perk 3: Remote Guidance
Some insurance policies include home emergency cover. In those cases, insurance providers liaise with repair people and provide timely assistance to homeowners after flooding and escape of water events. With Fixzy Assist in place, contractors can get advice on the spot; consequently, first-time fix rates (FTFRs) improve and costs go down.
Reduce Escape of Water Claims Costs with Fixzy Assist
Sometimes, simple solutions help organisations save substantial amounts of money. Fixzy Assist, for instance, is a lightweight, intuitive support app for loss adjusters and tradespeople working on site.
Cloud-based and compatible with most smartphones, the Fixzy Assist app uses computer vision and AI to collect, interpret, store and share visual data. Users and experts connect virtually, reducing or removing the need for multiple site visits. A simpler water damage insurance claims process costs less and improves the customer experience.
To find out more about Fixzy Assist — or to see a demo of the app in action — get in touch today.