ClaimsTech: human Vs machine 

Article supplied by Service Certainty 

As ILC gears up for the forthcoming ClaimsTech – The Journey event, Service Certainty reflects on the perceived benefits of technology in the claims sector and whether these benefits have fully materialised. One example that illustrates the point is its image-capturing service introduced in 2009, which has remained relevant through a decade and a half of technological innovation. 

In 2009, Service Certainty created a crowdsourced network of professional photographers known as imageproof Pros, to provide insurers with high-quality images of damaged vehicles and properties. This innovation aimed to accelerate the claims process by supporting better decision-making. At the same time, Service Certainty was already exploring digital services to align with anticipated changes in smartphone technology. As smartphones grew in popularity, the company introduced a platform that allowed customers to take their own photos via its proprietary web app. 

Being the first to market with such a product, Service Certainty offered a low-cost, digital solution that enabled swift media capture, supporting desktop decision-making when triaging claims. Initially, it was assumed that digital services might surpass physical image capture, but this has not been the case.  In the modern age, recent advances in smartphone technology now allow users to alter the dates, locations, and even the content of images. This development highlights the challenge insurers face in tackling fraud—a challenge underscored in several recent industry press articles. 

Paul Sell, Director at Service Certainty, commented, “While we have seen tremendous innovation and change in the insurance industry, we are increasingly aware of the dangers now literally in the hands of all customers. This is a difficult path for insurers to tread—seeking to utilise AI in claims processing while perhaps not being fully confident in the integrity of images. We must remember that AI is only as good as the data it receives, and it learns rapidly. The question arises—have manipulated images already started to alter AI decisions?” 

Paul believes this uncertainty has driven renewed demand for professional photographers who can provide independent, professional, and validated images. 

Richard Eadie, Managing Director of Service Certainty, stated, “What we created with self-serve was intended to be a complementary product for cases where using our Pros was deemed too elaborate and costly, depending on the claim type. However, the uptake on self-serve grew exponentially, which was an unexpected development.” 

Richard noted that while the business is equipped to securely obtain, store, and share self-serve data, the opportunity for image fraud is increasing. He warned, “We must be mindful that there is a time and place for customers to be trusted to provide an accurate representation of their claim.” 

Sometimes a traditional approach to a modern challenge might provide the answer. 

To find out more about how to get involved in ILC’s ClaimsTech – The Journey event on Wednesday 3 July, in London, contact 


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