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Warta evaluates damage via the customer's smartphone

Warta's claims handlers have already evaluated more than 200 loss events in houses via its customers' smartphones. There is no need to send an expert to a customer's house to assess the extent of the loss thanks to a new app from Warta. As a result, the payment decision is made quicker.

"The growing popularity of smartphones opens up new possibilities for insurers in terms of customer service. One example is an application enabling a claims handler to inspect the extent of the loss in a customer's house 'from behind a desk'. We have already handled more than 200 claims with the use of this app, and I can say that it enjoys great popularity with our customers," says Adam Fulneczek, Director of the Claims Handling Strategy Department at Warta.

An on-line inspection speeds up the decision

How does this work in practice? After a loss event has been reported and the information analysed, the claims handler may make the payment decision using a simplified procedure that requires no assessment by an expert on site. In many cases the information about the extent of the loss provided by the customer over the phone or in the claim form available on the Warta website is enough for the claims handler. It may sometimes be necessary to send photographs or documents, and in certain situations an inspection may be required. Now this can be carried out online, thus making the payment decision process quicker.

"Thanks to the application, we can process more than water damage claims within the simplified procedure, we can also use it for fire and theft claims. Previously, such damage had to be assessed by an expert on site. Now an online inspection is enough as it enables us to obtain sufficient evidence confirming a burglary or damage caused by a fire. Additionally, we can make use of smartphones during an inspection to obtain copies of documents necessary to handle a claim, such as receipts for stolen assets, notes from the police, statements from perpetrators, etc.," says Artur Piechel, Director of the Claims Handling Centre at Warta.

From a customer's smartphone to Warta's system

While talking to a customer, the claims handler can discuss the possibility of inspecting damage via a smartphone application. If the customer agrees, then he or she receives a text message with a link to download the app (currently only available for phones running the Android operating system). After downloading the app, the claims handler calls the customer and inspects the damage on his monitor via the app. He can also take photographs that are then saved in the electronic claim file in Warta's system. In simpler cases, the claims handler can calculate the value of the damage and determine the amount of compensation together with the aggrieved party during the inspection. In more complex cases the claims handler arranges a phone conversation with the aggrieved party, then later analyses the documentation and calls the customer back with a compensation proposal.

"Smartphone owners respond very positively to a request to use the app; they are curious and cooperate actively with the claims handler. It is easier to plan such inspections in terms of time, and they usually take less time than a visit by an expert to assess damage," says Artur Piechel.

More payments within a simplified procedure

Warta handles around 54% of property claims by individual clients within the simplified procedure, without the need to send an expert to assess the damage.

"In the long term, the possibility of carrying out an online inspection via a smartphone will enable us to improve this ratio. One can say that home insurance is perfect for implementing such solutions, making it easier for customers to receive their compensation quicker. We are planning to use this for other types of claims as well," says Adam Fulneczek.

Dawid Korszeń
Chmielna 85/87
00-805 Warszawa