How the motor claims experience is changing

Daniel Lukich, sales and strategic relationships manager at AAMC, joins Insurance Business TV to celebrate his firm’s recent 5-star technology provider award. He delves into the recent challenges his firm has overcome, how technology is changing the motor claims experience and advice to insurers as they embark on their tech journeys.


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Danny: [00:00:13] Hello and welcome to Insurance Business TV. I'm Danny Wood, news editor of Insurance Business Australia. Today I'm joined by Daniel Lukich Sales and strategic relationship manager with AAAMC, one of Australia's largest providers of motor accident management services. AAAMC is one of the winners featured in our 2022 five star technology report. According to one on one interviews with brokers, AAMC scored top points for its technology in the motor claims space. Daniel, congratulations and thanks for joining us.

Daniel: [00:00:47] Thanks very much. Thanks for having me.

Danny: [00:00:49] It's a pleasure. So just briefly, what are some of the services that AAMC provide?

Daniel: [00:00:55] Well, AAMC. They provide a broad range of services. The industry is fairly much aware of what we do in the motor assessing space. We deal with most of the major insurers in a motor assessing capacity. So that could be either an overflow or a support or a specialist service. Probably what's not that well known is that we also provide a more cohesive end to end repair management solution, which includes taking care of the client, appointing repairers, managing the customer throughout the repair process, arranging a hire car if need be, and really packaging it up as an end to end repair management solution, which which is a growing sector of our business.

Danny: [00:01:39] And so who are your main customers?

Daniel: [00:01:41] Well, our main customers are the insurance underwriters and the some corporate fleets, rental companies, underwriting agencies, some CPAs where we provide assessing service. But in the main, it's the major commercial insurers.

Danny: [00:02:00] And so are there some things that make your business unique in the marketplace?

Daniel: [00:02:05] Yeah, we're unique because we our our size enables us to give a one stop shop coverage right across all of Australia, across the broad spectrum spectrum of motor vehicles. So from that, we can do everything from a ride on mower, if you will, right through to combine harvester prestige vehicles and anywhere in Australia with our own resources. Now some of our competitors offer that service, but they rely on subcontractors or individual operators to provide that national service. But you know, under, under our umbrella, it's it's it's a fully in fully contained national service.

Danny: [00:02:43] How does technology then play into what you're providing in the service area?

Daniel: [00:02:48] Yeah, technology plays a vital role in our services and it will going forward even more so. So as as the complexity changes in claims as customers expectations of a client experience changes technology in the consumer experience but also in driving efficiencies is vital for us. So we embed the best third party technology that we can. We can get our hands on into our business to drive efficiencies and to to improve the customer experience.

Danny: [00:03:20] Technology is one of those words that I guess can say very little or say a lot, depending on how you're talking about it. And one of the big issues in the industry now is making sure these digital transformations keep a customer focus. I'm just wondering if you could talk about perhaps a difficult challenge you've had at AAMC and how you overcame it and how technology plays in to help that?

Daniel: [00:03:43] Well, COVID, I think we're not alone to say that that was a massive impact for us and a challenge. And like many organisations, we had to revert to a basically 100% work from home environment. We had to rely on digital technology to get the evidence through to our assessors so that they can do things more from the desk. Because on site appointments were very, very limited and technology that we had within our organisation enabled us to pivot very, very quickly and install service our clients quite well with that. And in fact it gave us a lot of learnings on how to how to do things smarter going forward.

Danny: [00:04:28] Can you talk about some of those learnings?

Daniel: [00:04:31] Yes. So technology, you're right, it is such a broad term. Technology can mean a number of things. There's that view with some some within the industry. The technology takes away the human element. So when you when you when they talk about technology, they're thinking robotics and automation and removing the human element of claims, which is which is not quite right. Claims is still very much a human resource and a human and touch service. The way technology plays a role, it can identify those claims which are much lower touch points away from those that need human intervention. It can speed up the repair process, they can speed up the claim lifecycle. It can take people off that conveyor belt of just ringing, ringing up and hanging on to that call centre for for hours on end to try and get a notification of what's happening with their claim. So some of those elements that that have been traditionally inefficient technology is playing a vital role and keeping the customer updated as the client progresses and identifying claims where that can be straight through. So that's that's helped us a lot.

Danny: [00:05:41] Yeah. With all that in mind, what's AAMC's view of how insurers are dealing with the claims process. And I mean, what can they do to improve that process?

Daniel: [00:05:52] So I think from from my point of view, I think insurers are still very much wedded to the the traditional model where people ring in or lodge a claim online, and then there's multiple touch points and review points to get a claim moving forward. We're still aware of some insurance companies where it takes 12 to 13 touch points in about 22 days to process a total loss, for example. So we're technology can play a much bigger role, as is in that gathering of evidence, automating and understanding, a potential total loss, for example, from a small dent in a car park, pushing those and orchestrating the supply chain, but still identifying when a skilled claims handler needs to be involved. So at the moment, insurers are a long way from introducing anything like that, and the constraints are really around their legacy technology, which is step by step linear claims. Processing a digital light or interface will certainly assist with that. But there has to be a mind shift or a paradigm shift in how they view claims processing for this to really take, take and hold.

Danny: [00:07:06] Do you think they're willing to go through this paradigm shift or do you find there's still reluctance from insurers.

Daniel: [00:07:12] Speaking to clients, managers and clients stuff they all know they have to and want to. But being being the big organisations that they are, it's going to take some time. There's a number of inhibitors in there because there's still a tendency to look and touch and look at every file themselves and own it and letting things go and straight through processing certainly in motor and property is way behind travel insurance and health insurance. And those sectors have really nailed the digital process very well. You you can launch a claim for a medical bill online and get the money back into your account within 24 hours. And with with a motor car it's you'd be able to claim you jump in the car, you're going to be the panel beater. You get a quote, you send that back. The insurance company looks at it, thinks about it, that, you know, and days have disappeared. And my view is that the insurance industry probably doesn't have the pressure on them to make such a wholesale change quickly, because insurance policyholders really don't have a claim once every seven years. So it's not a daily occurrence. So you may have your life on your digital device managing you're managing it everything.

Daniel: [00:08:31] You know, your travel, your uber, your your, your appointments, your your life is in your in your hip pocket and you lodge an insurance. Can you go all that wasn't that great, but you don't do it every day. But from a broker's perspective, I can see their frustration because they do do it every day and they're dealing with customers on a daily basis where they're not sure of where their claim is at. So I think that there will be pressure from the brokers to the insurers to be a bit smarter with with the client capability, because they they do deal with it every day. But personal personalised insurance works once every 6 to 7 years. It's not a burning platform that I can see. It is from the policy sale side of thing. Retail insurance is brilliant. You can do anything online, you can change, you can buy a car and change drivers, change addresses, change your premium up, move your accesses up and down. You can do a lot online without ringing anybody, but a claim is really, you know, back in the way it's been for the last 20 years.

Danny: [00:09:38] You mentioned brokers there. Can we let's talk a bit more about brokers and how the sort of technology you offer can improve the sort of service they're offering to commercial clients.

Daniel: [00:09:48] I have empathy for the brokers because each each of the underwriters would like the broker to use their own portal or their own way of lodging claims. So there's this push from all the big four or five or so Big Ten underwriters that use our portal, use our method. It'll make us think, whatever. But a broker who deals with multiple insurance companies facing the fact of having multiple ways of lodging a claim. So that is a real challenge for the broking industry and similar for us as a supplier to most of the insurers. Most of our clients would like us to work in their own ecosystem, whether that be directly to their system or integrated within their system or working within their own model. And that that adds costs to organisations like ours as it would a broker, because you're dealing with it's very inefficient. Every insurer has a slightly different process. So technology where we will build a digital interface or a layer where we can. Integrate with with insurers, different platforms and assessing systems and policy systems is the feedback. That means we're easy to deal with. Brokers are easier to deal with. They they have a very consistent process across all their claims portfolios. But there's still there's going to be there's going to need to be a change in attitude from the insurers to allow the brokers more autonomy into their claims lodgement systems and allow that to feed into their systems, as opposed to that insistence that brokers use use what they've set up for brokers.

Danny: [00:11:24] Daniel, you've been in business for about 20 years, and I mean, technology has clearly changed a great deal. But what else have you seen change in the sort of motor claims and repair space?

Daniel: [00:11:34] Oh, I just look at what we're driving out on out in the car park. I mean, we've gone from Holdens and Falcons and Corollas too. If we raise a lot of prestige vehicles, the technology in motor cars is just amazing. What you get in an average little car now is $35,000 wasn't available in the top of the line Mercedes ten years ago. And what's changing more than the technology that what we're driving is consumers expectations. I think that instant. Being able to instantly get something, whether it's a purchase or a service. And I think insurance claims is is where it's lacking again, where it's not an instant it's not an instant reaction to to to a call or a claim. It is clunky. The other the other big change over the 20 years that I've seen have been around is probably the role of the assessor, where we were front and center of the claim we were, I guess the. Keeper of the checkbook. We would and I'm talking for my property counterparts as well. They know an assessor would adjudicate how much to fix something for, who's going to fix it and how long it'll take and by what method assesses them property. Just as we're more behind the scenes now, we need to dovetail into the whole claims process, not hold up the claim. A more customer focused role with an eye on quality and cost as vehicles become more and more complex. One of our responsibilities is who's fixing the cut? So gone are the days where a customer can just choose whoever they want to fix their vehicle, and assessor will come and organise a quantum and leave. If the if the repairer isn't equipped to fix a modern electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle or prestige vehicle, our responsibility from the assessors is to either move the vehicle or have a discussion with the owner, whoever they've chosen, or the bit where the vehicle has been towed to. It's not exactly the right, the right, the right facility for that vehicle.

Danny: [00:13:56] Daniel, thanks very much for talking with us. It's a complex area, but we'll leave it there. Congratulations. Talk to you again soon.

Daniel: [00:14:03] Thank you for the opportunity. Thanks very much, Danny.

Danny: [00:14:06] And Daniel Lukich is sales and strategic relationship manager with AAMC, one of Australia's largest providers of motor accident and management services. AAMC is a winner featured in our 2022 five star technology report. Thanks for joining us. See you next time.