Mobitex Technology - Solutions - Case study

Country Companies Insurance Group, USA

Claims adjusters at the Country Companies Insurance Group are using Mobitex to save up to an hour a day. With the Claimsflo wireless application from ADP Claims Solution Group, appraisals are entered directly on handheld computers as the claims adjuster "walks the vehicle" and then forwarded wirelessly to the corporate intranet for immediate processing at the home office. Speeding up the flow in this way makes customers the biggest winners.

Wireless intranet solution speeds up the flow

The insurance industry is turning to wireless networking and the Web to save auto claims appraisers time and improve customer service. In the U.S., one of the industry's first roll-outs has been with the Country Companies Insurance Group based in Bloomington, Illinois. Claimsflo Wireless is an end-to-end IP-based application that is hosted on Country Companies' secure intranet.

For the past two years, approximately 150 appraisers have been using ADP Claims Solutions Group's (CSG) awarding-winning PenPro[TM] hand-held automated estimating system as part of the insurer's collision repair estimating process in ten states throughout the country.

PenPro has been streamlining the estimating process for appraisers by allowing them to "walk the vehicle" while pulling up extensive information on their handheld terminals, including vehicle make, model, year, engine and options, as well as data for the selection of specific vehicle parts. The majority of Country Company's estimates are generated by appraisers out in the field and then sent to the home office via a modem for processing.

Speeding up the process
This past spring, ADP CSG added a new element to PenPro's estimating process with the inclusion of ADP's Claimsflo[TM] Wireless. Using BellSouth Wireless Data's Mobitex network, Claimsflo Wireless speeds up the mobile appraiser's communications to the home office, while providing a powerful core network and mulitiple host connectivity options.

For PenPro, the new Claimsflo Wireless system allows appraisers to transmit claims information from the field or a drive-through service center directly to the home office in real time, significantly increasing the level of customer service. Bypassing traditional modem and phone line connections to quickly send and receive assignments, estimates, images and total loss evaluations allows appraisers to significantly reduce the time spent doing paperwork.

According to Joe Painter, director of property and casualty claims for the Country Companies, "Our customers are the biggest winners with this new wireless capability, because they receive faster service. Our appraisers are able to save about an hour a day in processing claims, since they no longer have to go into the office to upload and download claims data or to receive assignments. Claimsflo Wireless gives Country Companies greater assurance that information will be transmitted quickly, as well as securely."

Smart IP[TM] is being used by developers to provide Internet/intranet content and messaging, enable custom IP-and Web-based applications. An example of a custom IP application is ADP CSG Claimsflo wireless.

IP all the way
Field adjusters are equipped with Itronix ruggedized computers with built-in Mobitex modems. As the claims adjuster inspects the vehicle, supporting data about the vehicle and insurance policy can be quickly brought up on screen. Estimates are created using the PenPro application and pen input. Once the estimate is completed, it is instantly transmitted to the home office over the BellSouth Mobitex network.

Claimsflo Wireless is an end-to-end IP-based application that is hosted on Country Companies' secure intranet. For data communications, Nettech's SmartIP[TM] wireless middleware is used, which allows Internet and intranet applications to communicate efficiently over any wireless network. Smart IP optimizes wireless data communications and provides Claimsflo Wireless with many benefits, including, seamless communication over the BellSouth Mobitex network, reliable and efficient data exchange, reduced airtime expenses and extended device battery life.

These benefits, together with the process improvements provided by the PenPro application, result in significant savings in time and money for the Country Companies Insurance Group. More importantly, however, customer service is vastly improved. For policy holders who want to get their damaged vehicles repaired as quickly as possible, a wireless data solution that puts the claims adjuster's estimate on file instantly makes a world of difference. Time spent waiting for the estimate to reach the home office by conventional means is eliminated, and customer satisfaction increases.

Best-of-breed solution
"It is important for us to continually offer our customers cutting-edge solutions that take advantage of the latest technology innovations," says Joe O'Brien, vice president/general manager, Insurance Claims Services for ADP CSG. "We chose to work with Nettech because we wanted a best-of-breed solution to wireless-enable our application. We considered developing the wireless connectivity ourselves, but quickly realized that we could bring a better product to market faster by partnering with Nettech. With Nettech's world-class reputation and proven wireless technology we felt confident that together we could offer the best solution possible."

According to O'Brien, Smart IP saved them months of development time. "We had Smart IP working successfully with Claimsflo Wireless within minutes. It interfaces with the BellSouth network, allowing our application to take full advantage of the strengths of the network. It also supports multiple devices, giving us complete flexibility in setting up the best overall systems for our clients."

Country Companies plans to roll out the service to its 150 appraisers over the next three months. Using Smart IP, ADP CSG will add support for complementary networks, such as satellite, and new devices to provide a comprehensive solution to meet any of their customer's needs.

For ADP, Nettech and BellSouth Wireless Data, this roll-out comes at an auspicious time. Country Companies is a major client and an important reference. Its PenPro and Claimsflo applications have generated considerable attention in the insurance industry and will set the standard by which others will be judged.

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