Most Virtual Hail Estimating Apps Suck, as per CHAT GPT...
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“The study found 43 percent of shops agreeing that “it’s difficult to justify / negotiate without an adjuster seeing the vehicle in-person,” up from 35 percent in 2019.” Repairer Driven News Article. <—link
WE 100% AGREE with this statement. Our shop in South Dakota repaired over 350 hail damaged vehicles in the year 2020. Almost 100% of the claims done virtually were supplemented and we had to negotiate with non existent assessors.
“May end up costing more time: If you hope to get a jump on the repair process by starting with a photo estimate, you may be disappointed to discover a supplementary estimate is needed and that your timetable has been pushed back.”
“Undervalued compensation: Even if you just want to get the check, there’s some concern these are undervalued payouts and you may get more when examined in person.” Experian article. <—link
Every hail claim done by virtual app has caused delays in repair for our company.
We asked CHAT GPT what the potential issues would be for a customer using a virtual hail estimating app vs. receiving an estimate written by a specialist or body shop. Our opinion to any comments are highlighted in PINK.
While virtual estimating apps can offer convenience and efficiency (SOMETIMES it is, but almost every claim done with a virtual app needed a supplement) in processing hail damage claims, there are some potential issues to consider when comparing them to visiting a specialist or body shop for an estimate:
Accuracy: Virtual estimating apps rely on photos or videos submitted by the policy holder or adjuster to assess the damage remotely. However, accurately assessing the extent and severity of hail damage may be challenging without physically inspecting the vehicle. Fine details, hidden damage, or nuances may be missed in photos, potentially leading to inaccuracies in the estimate. (Short video of the differences between looking at hail outside, vs. inside with our specialty lights.)
Limited assessment: Virtual estimating apps may have limitations in assessing certain types of damage or complex repairs. They may be more suitable for assessing visible external damage, but internal or structural damage may require an in-person inspection by a specialist or body shop.
Lack of personal interaction: One of the benefits of visiting a specialist or body shop for an estimate is the opportunity for direct communication and discussion with an expert. They can provide valuable insights, answer questions, and address any concerns or doubts regarding the damage and repair process. (We want to meet you in person. A relationship can be built and we will answer ALL questions to the best of our ability.) Virtual estimating apps may lack this personal interaction, which can sometimes result in a less comprehensive understanding of the damage and repair requirements.
Incomplete estimates: Virtual estimating apps may not capture the full scope of repairs needed. They may provide an initial estimate based on visible damage but miss other necessary repairs that require a hands-on inspection. This can potentially lead to underestimating the cost or time required for repairs, resulting in delays or disputes during the claims process. (EVERY SINGLE ESTIMATE WAS WRONG.)
Varied quality of submitted photos: The accuracy of virtual estimates heavily relies on the quality and clarity of the photos or videos submitted. If the photos are blurry, poorly lit, or don’t capture the full extent of the damage, it can affect the accuracy of the estimate. In some cases, additional back-and-forth communication or additional photo submissions may be required, prolonging the estimation process. (EVERY TIME WE WROTE AN ESTIMATE, OUR PICTURES HAD TO CLEARLY SHOW THE DAMAGE. So if they are ok with bad pictures done by a non professional, ask yourself why? Because they can claim PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY….)
While virtual estimating can provide convenience and speed, it may not always capture the full picture and may be best used for initial assessments or minor damages. In more complex cases or when there are concerns about accuracy, a physical inspection by a specialist or body shop is recommended to ensure a comprehensive and accurate estimate.
Again, Watch the video in this section. You can see the differences between our knowing how to identify dents outside (most people won’t be able to do this) and what the same panels showed us inside with our lights. Using a virtual app will simply cause delays and likely cost you money that could be used toward your repair.