Automation, AI, and Car Insurance

In some instances, artificial intelligence can sound a little scary (like, for example, when your digital assistant laughs at you). But in other cases, it can be awesome. Case in point: Metromile’s AVA, an automated claims system that uses your car’s sensor data to verify insurance claims. Pretty cool right?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (otherwise known as AI) refers to machines that carry out tasks in a smart, efficient way with human-like reasoning. But don’t panic: Just because these intelligent creations can do some heavy lifting, they lack the emotions, desires, and creativity that make humans, well, human. Rather, they’re ingenious and skilled experts programmed to carry out extremely manual tasks that humans were not meant to perform.

People will sometimes use the phrases “Generalized AI” to refer to devices and systems that can carry out all sorts of tasks, and “Applied AI” to reference systems and devices built to handle specific to-dos.

How Does AI Factor Into the Auto Industry?

You probably already interact with AI on a daily basis — from your phone, to your TV, to your thermostat, AI programs are helping you navigate the world around you. So it makes perfect sense to bring this higher level of efficiency and intelligence into a place you’re probably spending a fair amount of time: Your car.

Driverless vehicles have already garnered a lot of attention for their ability to simplify and optimize the behind-the-wheel experience, but that’s not the only way AI can be applied to the auto industry. One major area that’s benefitting from the brilliance of AI technology is the insurance landscape. Think about it: if an insurance company can cut out the long, arduous, painstaking process of claim investigations, repairs, and adjustments, they can save a ton of money on operations. And by handing that work over to an AI system, those cost savings will trickle down to customers.

That’s where AVA comes in.

So Who’s AVA?

Consider AVA Metromile’s super smart claims system. She’s impressively multi-talented, but her main skill is verifying claims in seconds to provide quick resolutions. AVA helps take the burden off of you any time you file a claim: She collects the relevant details to help you file, guides you through the process of collecting damage photos, and helps ensure your payment is issued ASAP. Using Metromile Pulse sensor data, AVA is able to reconstruct the scene of an accident to verify claim details. And if the claim is verified, AVA is able to automatically approve payments within seconds.
It’s pretty amazing how AVA does all this: Metromile uses a device called the Metromile Pulse to monitor time on the road. Our insurance is actually connected to this data, which makes it easy for us to calculate costs based directly on mileage. AVA uses similar data from Pulse to reconstruct the scene of an accident to figure out what occurred. If the data she has access to backs up the driver’s account of the accident, Metromile is able to automatically approve payment within seconds. Incredible, right?

But AVA does more than automate claims and take the headache out of filing (although she’s really pretty great at it). She also helps make sure you’re covered on repairs and rentals so you’re not left hanging car-less after an accident. AVA directs eligible policyholders who have submitted a claim and indicated they’re planning to repair their vehicle to the Metromile Dashboard. There, they’ll be able to see repair shops participating in the direct repair program and are located near the zip code of the vehicle’s last location. And if the policyholder also has rental coverage, AVA will give them the option to reserve a vehicle through a local Enterprise-Rent-A-Car location on the Metromile online dashboard. Policyholders can even gain access to and schedule an Enterprise shuttle for pick-up from the repair shop or another specified address.

AVA’s also a stickler for follow-ups: Once a vehicle is in the shop and a rental car has been picked up, she keeps customers posted on repair status, schedule changes, and can even help change the rental reservation if necessary. As soon as the car has been repaired and ready to roll, back in the customer’s possession, she automatically initiates payment.

Whether you make AVA a part of your life or not, you absolutely always have the option to call Metromile’s in-house team of claims professionals. Not yet a Metromile customer but intrigued by AVA and our automated claims? Visit metromile.com/insurance to learn more about our pay-per-mile insurance and get a quick quote.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.