Selfies to Settle Car Insurance Claims?

Last year, the word “Selfie” entered the English language officially when the Oxford English Dictionary finally included it in the dictionary. They also made it their word of the year for 2013. For the uninitiated the “selfie” is simply a photo you take of yourself. Once you’ve taken the shot; it’s normally uploaded to a social media platform like Facebook to impress/annoy your friends.

Selfies and Car Insurance

Who would have thought that a vacuous trend could not only influence the dictionary makers but that it might also influence the world of car insurance?

Well, across the Atlantic that’s exactly what’s happening. ACD (Auto Claims Direct) Corporation has launched a new service called Self(ie) Solutions. They say that car accidents can cause pile ups, delays on the roads and large expenses for business, government and of course, drivers themselves.

The big question to be resolved in most accidents, where no-one is injured, is simply who will pay for the damage? That’s the reason that people have car insurance. So that whichever party is at fault – they won’t have to reach into their own pockets to pay for the damage to the other vehicle; their insurer will.

However, this leads (somewhat unsurprisingly) to insurers wanting to know exactly what happened and what the damage was. This prevents an insurer from being forced to pay a claim that isn’t their responsibility and fulfils their obligation to their policyholders and shareholders to manage risk effectively.

To meet these responsibilities a claims adjuster may need to be dispatched (either to the scene of the accident or to the place of repair – depending on the country the accident occurs in) to assess fault for the accident and how much should be paid and by whom.

Self(ie) Service is designed to cut this process down. The owner can use the service at the time of the accident to record what happened to their vehicle using their smartphone and then send images (via a secure network link) to the claims adjusters and their insurers. Estimates can then either be drafted automatically by ACD or can be handled manually by the insurance company or claims adjuster.

There are good reasons for insurers to treat this with a bit of caution; after all damage assessments can be complex but there are also good reasons for this to be treated with optimism. It’s a great way for insurers to improve their customer service, increase communication with a client during the stress of an accident and to streamline their response times for minor claims. Maybe in the future this feature can be integrated with dashcams?

You can see for yourself what ACD are claiming for the service:


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