In one of the first high-profile professional applications of Google Street View in British Columbia, auto insurance monopolist ICBC will be utilizing Google’s clever service to help it resolve claims.
Quoth The Vancouver Sun:
According to documents obtained by The Vancouver Sun, the public insurer has begun using the technology to help resolve some insurance claims, a cheaper alternative than adjusters visiting accident scenes in person or hiring investigators to produce official photos of a crash site.
According to the article, the document reads, “Google Maps is readily available for staff online and are being used now very successfully in some offices to resolve liability. [We should] encourage use by all adjusters where appropriate instead of using a scene investigation, keeping in mind intersections can change.”
In addition, a different ICBC document highlighted in the Sun’s article notes that Street View “would be sufficient to understand the physical layout and characteristics of an intersection”—but that a site visit may be necessary if evidence (skid marks, for example) still needs to be collected.
ICBC hasn’t calculated how much money it saves by leveraging Street View, although that’s typical, as monopolies tend not to sweat the details.