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The Wall Street Journal: Insurer Looks to Shorten Time from Car Wreck to Body Shop

Source: Leslie Scism, The Wall Street Journal

Hartford Financial joins with a tech startup to use artificial intelligence to estimate repair costs

Policyholders from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. will now be able to take photographs of their damaged cars and almost instantaneously generate a repair estimate.

The new offering is thanks to a partnership between Hartford Financial and London-based Tractable. The startup is at the forefront of a growing number of technology firms trying to help car insurers use techniques such as artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning to speed up claims processes. Founded in 2014, Tractable already is working with big insurers in Japan and Europe.

The collaboration with Hartford Financial signals that artificial-intelligence activity is heating up in the U.S. car-insurance market, industry executives and consultants said. Among other strategic efforts, giant car insurer USAA has been working since 2019 with Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud unit to develop a photo-based estimating program for its policyholders.

Under Tractable’s approach, computers study the damage in photographs, which can be taken by policyholders while still at the wreck site or later. To produce estimates, the algorithms tap into data from a provider of parts and labor data.

Once the estimate is generated, policyholders can select a recommended body shop and get the repair work started… read more on the Wall Street Journal website

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