Andrew Gibbons, BIBA, Chair of Industry Claims Initiative, Blog – InsureTech Rising, Insurance of Tech…?

19th June 2019

It was Easter weekend, the sun was shining; the sun cream had made its first appearance of the year, and my wife and I chose to go into battle with our local motor dealer to buy a new car. Having watched David Attenborough’s most recent natural history documentary about the future of the planet, we decided to try and do our bit and go for a fully electric, environmentally friendly vehicle.

When viewing the car, the salesman opened the bonnet,  to reveal mostly a void where the engine would normally be, prefaced by the comment of “we are not allowed to touch any of that.”! The mechanics of old are no longer dealing with the internal combustion engine!

When you stop to consider the technology of a motor vehicle; electric turbines, distance sensors comprising of parts to the weapons system of an Apache helicopter, combined with automated braking and high tech windscreens that detect rain, we have effectively changed the skill set required by those who repair our vehicles after an insurance claim.

It seems that the technological capability of a vehicle can exceed the technological capability of those who repair them. I recently suffered a chip to my windscreen, which required replacement. I booked the vehicle on the e-booking system of the windscreen repairer to arrange a home visit.  This ultimately proved fruitless as I received a call after the appointment was made to say that it could only be replaced in the workshop.

The vehicle wasduly taken to the repair centre where I left it to be repaired that afternoon. When I picked it up, I was told I would have to take the car to the main dealer because the conventional windscreen repair shop could not recalibrate the windscreen due to a fault on the dashboard.  In addition, the sunroof would not open, the internal lighting and the front vehicle sensors for parking were also off. The main dealer established that several wires had been cut during the removal of the damaged windscreen!

The vast infrastructure investment that is required to bring our repair capability up to speed is one of the biggest challenges for the claims supply chain in the future. This is of course assuming that the insurance market will provide cover for emerging risks, which is becoming  more challenging in certain parts of the sharing economy and for high-tech vehicles that have come to market in recent years.  Certainly innovation is needed to enable us to keep pace.

Andrew Gibbons ACII

MD, Mason Owen Financial Services Ltd

BIBA, Chair of Industry Claims Initiative