Risk Point, LLC, a provider of insurance for auto dealer inventory, has introduced a new estimating model for hail damage repair as a way to control ever-increasing premiums and deductibles, and to eliminate what it says has long been a problem in the industry: damage payouts that far exceed the actual cost of repair. The company estimates that in 2014 alone, hail damage payouts surpassed the actual cost of repair by at least $250 million.
“We are changing something that has become entrenched in the automotive insurance industry, and which until now, no one has taken the initiative to correct,” said Bryan Wilburn, founder and CEO of Risk Point. “This is a ‘back to basics’ approach in which an insured should not profit from a loss beyond the fair and equitable adjustment of their claim.”
Risk Point says that with improvements in PDR processes and a large increase in the number of PDR vendors, the actual cost to repair a vehicle has dropped substantially. However, it claims the insurance industry has continued to pay losses based on an estimating guide that is more than 10 years old, which has resulted in payouts to dealers of almost twice the amount for which the damage can be repaired.
Risk Point built its new estimating model after conducting a study of actual PDR costs with several national vendors. The result is that PDR vendors will continue to be paid current marketplace rates for actual repair costs, while overpayments to dealers will be eliminated. To ensure dealers are able to obtain repairs at the new matrix cost levels, Risk Point has partnered with a number of national vendors that it says possess the “requisite capabilities and commitment to service to perform and guarantee their work within the new payout structure.”
“Our goal has been to always lead the industry with innovative techniques and processes that provide superior service, fairly priced products, and timely claims payments,” Wilburn said. “While we expected some pushback with this new model, so far no one has argued that the actual repair amount is incorrect, and we believe that eventually other insurance providers will adopt it. Change of this magnitude is never easy, but our goal is to eliminate overpayments and return a measure of price stability to the industry.”