Back in the mid 1990s, property inspectors started performing their job function with a clipboard, graph paper, forms, digital cameras, measuring tools and a ladder for exterior roof access. Tasked with converting their scope notes to useful documentation for claims handling, they would then scan the scope notes and connect their digital camera card to a computer to create “Photo Sheets.” The scanned documents and Photo Sheets served as supplements to the creation of an Estimate or Replacement Cost Calculation (RCC).
That process was viewed as effective and logical. It was advanced and successful.
And, then, nothing changed about that process for 20 years. Two decades.
Of course, the estimating and RCC software platforms improved during the following two decades. But, the inspection and scoping tasks remained the same, despite advances in other software areas, the Internet and mobile technology. By and large, the supplemental information used to support estimates or replacement cost calculation reports remains identical to the documentation produced in the mid 1990s. Inspection operations stood still while technology accelerated and customer demands increased.
Finally, the insurance industry realized, over the past couple years, that better inspection documentation could lead to better customer engagement and better, long-term business intelligence. Not only could the documentation from a claims inspection in 2016 support that single claim. It could support future product development, underwriting inspections, future claims and every going-forward touchpoint associated with that policyholder and property.
In the world of property insurance claims, there essentially hasn’t been an “inspection report.” There has been the estimate and there has been the supporting materials to the estimate. That’s an insufficient way to approach Customer Engagement and BI. An Inspection Report is useful for many reasons:
- It provides better visibility into the inspection for approved claims as well as denials.
- It provides a “timestamp” history on a property inspection in a more effective way going forward.
- It enables all parties to a claim to review a single “source of truth” in terms of the inspection artifacts.
A modern day inspection platform is capable of producing more and better documentation, in significantly faster time, than any previous solution. We’re increasingly engineering Spex to enable maximum flexibility too. Our platform produces ZIP files that contain and automatically organize all the inspection artifacts. We are beginning to produce PDF Photo Sheets to supplement estimates for insurance claims. And, we continue to enable unique, differentiating value for clients through the creation of the SpexReport®, a dynamic, live URL reporting solution. SpexReports® can be immediately created from the Spex Web Dashboard and shared with policyholders, other collaborators to the inspection and the carriers directly. They are professional, mobile-responsive, well designed and well organized. They look great and they help tell the story of the inspection in photos, videos, diagrams and other artifacts captured during the inspection.
We’re naturally biased to the value of the SpexReport® but, more importantly, we understand the need for flexibility in exportation. Inspection artifacts may be accessed by multiple parties, for multiple reasons, over long period of times. A great inspection platform can’t trap those artifacts; it should make them easily shareable amongst the various parties.
Inspection Reporting is one of those areas where the industry is making more progress now, in a short period of time, than it did in the previous two decades combined. Customers demanded it and the insurance carriers started to listen. Service providers, including many of our clients, are leading the way in producing outstanding inspection documentation. We’re excited to be helping facilitate this area of progress and growth for the industry.
CEO of Spex