What to expect when we’re inspecting: method of inspection in auto losses

March 29, 2022

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By Chris Bakes, managing director, auto solutions

Many people aren’t familiar with the process of auto repairs, or even what happens next after they get into a car accident.

Despite this, the odds are high that a driver — whether they’re new or seasoned — will be involved in a car accident at some point in their life. Not to mention, they may also be tasked with helping a friend or spouse navigate the post-accident process or have incidents arise at work with fleets or rentals. To avoid confusion down the road, it’s important to think ahead.

In the auto repair space, the right method of inspection (MOI) can help manage the type of loss, get repairs completed quickly, and ensure the claim is handled in a way that meets or exceeds client expectations.

MOI best practices are based on information about the accident and the loss. All accidents are not created equal, so there isn’t a universal “right” way to handle method of inspection. Tailoring MOI based on client needs – whether they be related to speed of repair, price of repair, lowering indemnity, quality of repair, or customer service – is key. Let’s look at three common auto loss situations where the right MOI would advise the best solutions.

Scenario 1: Low-severity loss

Fender benders, damaged panels or accidents where airbags don’t ignite can be stressful, despite being considered low severity. Fortunately, the vehicle is still drivable, but damage will still need an inspection to some degree. In this category, estimates are easily done using self-service technology, rather than an in-person inspection. Sedgwick offers mobile triage tools that consumers can use to help define the details of the claim, give experts loss data faster, and understand whether further action needs to be taken. Photos are taken on the scene and processed through a mobile app in real-time to determine next steps. Often, with expert help at the ready, clients are reassured that the damage isn’t as bad as they initially thought.

Scenario 2: Medium-severity loss

For larger accidents that incur $2,500+ in damage, have multiple parts of the vehicle that are damaged, or for incidents where a vehicle isn’t drivable but not considered a total loss, cars are towed to a repair facility to estimate the damage. Many clients are reassured by the fact that they can choose to work with one of our trusted repair facilities in our direct repair program (DRP) network or an out-of-network shop based on their priorities for the vehicle — whether that relates to time, cost or quality of repair. Auto DRP partners are vetted by Sedgwick estimators, with coverage across all 50 states.

Scenario 3: High-severity loss

If an accident results in a total loss, an in-person inspection helps determine the best outcome. These are supplemented by early triage through our mobile tools. Estimators get early identifiers of the vehicle’s condition and are more prepared for a faster review of the damage — ultimately driving down the claim’s cycle time. In these cases, decreasing the time in the claim process is in the customer’s best interest. The sooner the estimate, the quicker the client can be reimbursed for their loss.

The auto loss scenarios highlighted above describe what we see with method of inspection across several auto incidents. The right vendor can ensure you choose the best path based on your priorities and ultimately have the best experience. To learn more about Sedgwick’s deep expertise in auto solutions and end-to-end claims management services, read the flyer, watch the video or visit our website.

Tags: appraisals, Auto, auto accident, Auto claims, Auto Loss, auto repairs, Casualty, Damage, indemnity, Liability, method of inspection, MOI, Property, Property loss, repair, Repair network, Vehicle, View on property