For years, insurance repair estimators have utilized a system that left the door open for interpretation. By beginning a repair with a clean slate and working their way up to the total estimate, insurers and estimators were essentially doing a “best guess” procedure that would often result in differences between the estimate and the actual work at its conclusion. But, at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in October, Toyota offered up a new way of doing things that should help insurers get a more accurate estimate on repairs.
So, what’s the big change? In truth, it isn’t ground-breaking, but instead, logical. By using a reversal of the previous process, Toyota outlines all of the parts and procedures necessary for a particular repair, and then allows the insurer to work BACKWARD from that total, eliminating items that aren’t requiring repair. While this may seem simple…well…actually, it is. But, the technology that is fueling the new practice should prove useful in the industry.
A user can select a particular area of the vehicle, and they will see a list of all parts utilized in that particular region of car or truck. From here, the insurer can simply deselect any parts not necessary for the procedure in question, which will, in turn, give them a better idea of what repairs will cost per each unique situation.
Toyota’s efforts in this arena should help the industry by making “engineers” part of the estimating equation.