What are Triage & Engineering in Motor Claims?

For insurers, triage and engineering are two of the most critical stages of the motor claims process.

A robust approach to these areas is vital for controlling claims costs, achieving right-first-time repair deployment, and delivering swift claims journeys for your customers.

Motor Repair Network partners with some of the UK’s best-known insurers, MGAs, and brokers to deliver fast, cost-effective claims journeys – and best quality repairs. Here we discuss the core principles of triage and engineering, and how they can be simplified with intelligent claims technology.

Find out more about our claims services here

What is ‘Triage’ in motor claims?

In motor claims, ‘triage’ is when claims handlers assess how badly a vehicle has been damaged after an incident. This involves finding out whether it’s repairable, what its requirements are, and deploying the most appropriate solutions.

Some core elements of the insurance triage process include

Assessing the vehicle’s damage severity

The triage stage is when a vehicle’s damage is assessed for its severity. This can either be based on the policyholder’s description of the damage, images they provide of the vehicle, or a combination of the two. 

The claims handler conducting the triage will consider whether it’s safe and economical to repair the vehicle, or whether it’s a potential ‘total loss’ (write-off), and needs to be replaced. 

They will also consider whether the vehicle is roadworthy in its current condition, and can continue to be used while it awaits repair, or whether it’s unsafe to drive.

This insight is key when seeking to utilise solutions like mobile repair, which are usually reserved for less severe cases of damage – such as scrapes or dents.

Identifying the repair requirements

Once damage has been assessed, if repair is an option, the claims handler will identify the vehicle’s requirements.

This includes assessing which areas of the vehicle need repairing, and considering any additional or vehicle-specific repair requirements – such as whether onboard technologies (like ADAS) are present, and whether the vehicle is EV/Hybrid, and therefore needs specialist attention.

Deploying the most appropriate repair solution

Based on the vehicle’s requirements, the claims handler will deploy the most appropriate repair/recovery solution. This might include dispatching the vehicle to a bodyshop, or allocating a mobile repairer – depending on the scale of the damage, and vehicle requirements.

This deployment decision accounts for factors like the vehicle’s location, any specialist requirements, and the abilities & capacity of nearby repairers.

A right-first-time approach to this deployment is key to promoting fast, efficient, cost-effective repairs – and positive claims journeys. That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure the data used to inform triage decisions is accurate, accessible, and comprehensive.

What is engineering in motor claims?

Repair engineering

Engineering is another vital part of the motor claims process. It begins once a repairer has reviewed the vehicle’s requirements, and provided a quote for the work needed.

Engineers look at these estimates to ensure best-practice repair methods are being followed, and suggest any cost/time-saving measures that could be utilised.

This often includes suggesting which parts are used, which parts are repaired vs replaced, and where any replacements are sourced.

All of this is conducted in-line with insurers’ own policies, ensuring that repairs meet their quality requirements, and any pre-approved cost-saving measures are taken into account.

Some core elements of repair engineering include

Controlling the cost of vehicle repairs, in-line with your policies

A strong engineering process is vital for controlling the cost of vehicle repairs. Engineers look at repair estimates to ensure all suggested methods & parts provide best value, and meet insurers’ repair policies.

If they find a better value solution, engineers can suggest to repairers that this is utilised – promoting more cost-efficient repairs. This might include replacing new/aftermarket parts with ‘green’ alternatives, or prioritising ‘repair over replace’ methodology where applicable.

However, alternative methods/parts will only be utilised if they can deliver the same high-quality, industry-standard repair – and fall within the insurers’ repair policies. Vehicle safety is always engineering’s ultimate priority, and all methods are checked against industry & manufacturer best practice.

Additionally, engineers ensure that only the damage associated with the claim is repaired – eliminating unnecessary costs for insurers where pre-existing damage may be present on vehicles.

Assessing the efficiency of repair methods

Another element of repair engineering is ensuring that repair methods are efficient, and deliver quicker turnaround for claims customers.

This includes looking at estimated lead times on parts/components, and suggesting quicker, alternative sources if they’re available.

Again, this is conducted in-line with insurers’ existing policies around repair methods and parts sourcing.

Achieving swift, high-quality repair solutions

Engineering seeks to maximise the speed and efficiency of repairs, while also maintaining the highest possible quality in-line with insurers’ requirements.

Considerations like parts sourcing, and ‘repair over replace’ methodology, help to provide quicker repair turnaround while also maintaining the quality of repairs completed.

What are ‘Intelligent’ Triage & Engineering Solutions?

Intelligent triage & engineering utilise technology to simplify some of the core elements of these processes.

This can help insurers to achieve faster, more accurate triage decision making, and more effective cost control strategies.

Intelligent Triage

Intelligent triage applies tech-driven automations to damage analysis, decision-making, and workflows within the triage process.

AI Damage Analysis

Visual Intelligence (VI) software can be implemented within image/video capture to speed up the identification of vehicle damage, and assist with total-loss decisions.

In more advanced applications, AI damage analysis can even provide an initial estimate of the cost to repair the vehicle – using live parts and repairer data.

Automated Triage Workflows

Triage workflows can be automated to improve efficiency within the claims handling process.

This includes automated tasks within your claims management system, which, once completed, immediately trigger the next stage of the process – ensuring a swift, consistent approach.

‘Smart Deployment’ Decisions

Intelligent triage applies insight-driven automations to your deployment decisions, which assist you in identifying the best repair solution the first time around.

This includes automatically suggesting appropriate repairers to the claims handler – based on vehicle requirements, its location, and the availability of repair capacity in different regions.

Intelligent Engineering

Intelligent repair engineering

Intelligent engineering focuses on using data-driven technology to inform cost control processes, parts purchasing strategies, and decisions on repair methods used.

This includes monitoring parts availability, costs, and lead times, and using these to inform a more efficient repair process.

Automated Cost Control Assistance

Intelligent engineering software tracks live industry data to automatically suggest cheaper or better value alternatives if they’re available.

This makes it easier for engineers to identify cost-saving opportunities, and ensure these are utilised to improve outcomes for insurers and their customers.

Parts Availability & Lead times

By tracking live parts data, like availability and lead times, intelligent engineering helps to identify the quickest sources for replacement parts when they become available.

This helps to reduce delays in sourcing parts to repair your customers’ vehicles, utilising a wider network of suppliers to reduce back-order.

Considering all factors which impact claims costs

Intelligent engineering takes into account all factors influencing the cost/turnaround of repairs – including things like courtesy cars, or credit hire, and how these impact the overall cost of the claim.

This is especially important when weighing up parts turnaround vs cost – helping you to identify which sourcing methods provide the best overall value when delivery time/delays are taken into account.

Motor Repair Network:

Award-Winning Claims Journeys for Insurers and their customers

Motor Repair Network partner with some of the UK’s best-known insurers, brokers, and MGAs, delivering high-quality repair management & motor claims solutions – including intelligent triage & engineering.

Fast & thorough vehicle damage assessment

Our triage process is supported by our self-developed damage assessment solution, Activate Assess, which provides qualitative visual data to support triage decisions, and identify total loss.

Our claims team prioritise cost-effective, right-first-time repair deployment – ensuring the most appropriate solutions are delivered to our customers the first time around.

In-house repair engineering

Through our in-house engineering team, we ensure our customers always receive best quality, best value, and best possible turnaround on their repairs.

Our engineers use live parts & repair insights to inform data-led engineering decisions – including where parts are sourced, and which repair methods are used.

UK-wide accident repair network

Through our parent company, Activate Group, we’re supported by a UK-wide network of Activate Accident Repair bodyshops, as well as our in-house parts supplier & aggregator, Activate Parts.

This allows us to deliver a complete, end-to-end accident management solution – encompassing everything from incident reporting to repair completion.

Get in touch to learn more about Motor Repair Network, and our award-winning accident management services:

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