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EP. 14: How 3D Technology is Deepening Claims Efficiency in Insurance

The use of 3D technology has been a topic of discussion in insurance for years, but for an industry that is historically slow to adopt technological change, its impact has not yet been as widely felt as originally thought. However, that is starting to change, according to experts.

This week, The Insuring Cyber Podcast is taking a look at two 3D trends that could transform the claims process: 3D scanning and printing.

At the beginning of this episode, Kimberly Dumas, global director of insurance at 3D capture platform Matterport, discusses how Matterport's 3D scanning technology is used for claims documentation and damage restoration.
Dumas says that as the pandemic has forced many industries, including insurance, to adapt to new ways of using technology, Matterport aims to step in and make claims more efficient when adjusters can't get on the ground.

"It's no secret that the insurance industry has been historically antiquated with technology," she says. "We are light years behind other industries, and when we had the pandemic and it first started, everybody kind of took a half step back. We kind of freaked out. We held our breath. We decided what was going to happen and insert new ways of doing business."

She says although Matterport began as an organization about 10 years ago, the global pandemic has pushed many carriers recently to look at its 3D scanning technology as a solution.

"We were trying to scramble," she says. "Adjusters weren't allowed to get on planes. They weren't allowed to come inside, and homeowners were standing inside of the property going, 'Which one's worse? Do I let somebody in, or do I go to a hotel or do I just sit in water or sit in a smoke-filled house?'"

Matterport's 3D walkthrough technology helps adjusters with damage assessment and claims handling, and its Mobile Capture product allows users to capture a space and create a model with documentation and accurate measurements, all using their mobile phone.

"It's been kind of serendipitous for us where carriers who would never historically look at our technology, that never even explored changing the way that they've done things for so long, really kind of catapulted us into this where people had to find a solution, and they had to change the way that they're operating, and Matterport was a good fit at the right time," Dumas says.

Beyond 3D scanning, another technology that's shaking up the insurance claims process is 3D printing. Ron Berg, executive director of Big 'I' Agents Council for Technology, later in the episode discusses the benefits, as well as the risks, for insurers.

"If you have a cyber bent, if cyber interests you at all, there's myriad implications here," he says.

He says while this technology could have positive implications for the insurance industry by speeding up claims processes for policyholders and allowing them to repair or replace their own broken or failed auto or home equipment, like most things cyber and innovation related, it also comes with risks. These could include business interruption, cyber and intellectual property loss and even litigation.

"There are so many potential benefits introduced through 3D printing, but specifically from an insurer standpoint...there are definite concerns as the risks continue to evolve," he says.

One concern is that 3D printers can be hacked. Beyond stolen data, defective parts could potentially be generated by hackers.

"Imagine if you're driving a car at highway speed and a part failed because a tiny defect was introduced on purpose that was almost untraceable," he says.

Berg says the best thing for agents and brokers to do when evaluating 3D printing risks is to not only understand what the technology is and how it's evolving, but ask questions about coverages and gaps.

"The agents and brokers do need to recognize that there's a lot on their shoulders," he says.

Check out the rest of this episode to find out what else Kimberly and Ron have to say, and be sure to check back for new episodes every other Wednesday published along with the Insuring Cyber newsletter. Thanks for listening.

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