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The Upside of a Car Crash

3 ways this Thai app is disrupting auto insurance

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 03 May 2016

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Which is worse? A car accident that smashes headlights, breaks mirrors, and leaves a huge dent in the side of your vehicle, assuming, of course, all the passengers remain unhurt. Or the tedious process of pursuing insurance claims to undertake repairs? For many, it’s a toss-up. Insurance claims can be such a headache that some insured motorists skip the claims process altogether and simply shell out cash from their own pocket to pay for repairs.

In Thailand, one mobile application enables motorists to make insurance claims right at the scene of the accident, without waiting for a surveyor to assess the damage. Claim Di, the app from Thai company Anywhere 2 Go, facilitates communication between drivers and their insurance companies, making the process more efficient.

The CEO and founder of Anywhere 2 Go is Kittinan Anuphan, who founded the company in 2000, when it was Arunsawad Dot Com. His team developed the first mobile app for paying your water bill in Thailand, as well as the first emergency-management system for the Bangkok Hospital Group, which services more than 12 million patients annually.

The Claim Di app won Thailand’s DTAC Accelerate competition in 2014, and the business has since been growing exponentially—raising funds three times within the past 18 months, Kittinan says. In the latest round, the company raised Series A funding from DTAC Accelerate, 500 Startups, Cyber Agent Venture, Golden Gate Ventures, and other global investors. So far the company has raised funds totaling $2.4 million.

Justin Hall, a principal at Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures, says "We love companies that are solving problems unique to the region and its consumers.”

According to Kittinan, Claim Di now serves more than 30 auto insurers in Thailand, who collectively underwrite about 60% of auto-insurance policies in the country. The company’s goal, he says, is “to disrupt the {auto} insurance industry in Thailand, Asia, and around the globe.” That’s a breathtakingly ambitious goal. For now, here are three ways Claim Di is creating a convenient solution to a stressful situation:

1. It shortens the time to make a claim

Thailand has more than 15 million vehicles, and some 14 million claims transactions are processed annually. Hall says that even in developed markets, the process of filling out an insurance claim is quite tedious, but in Southeast Asia, “it's downright painful”—having to wait for a surveyor to assess damages, approve a claim, and ultimately get paid. The process, Hall explains, “is subject to the kinds of inefficiencies and delays many consumers come to expect in the region.”

By allowing users to make the claim themselves, Kittinan says, Claim Di can help insurance companies save 80% of their time and 90% of their costs because they do not have to dispatch an agent to the scene and assess the damage.  

2. It digitizes the claim through mobile

Hall says Claim Di understood the problems in the industry and addresses them by digitizing the entire process, adding that “because it's a mobile-centric solution, it taps on the massive mobile phone adoption that is now commonplace.”

Users can take a photo of the damage, upload it, and make an appointment with the garage—all through the app. If both drivers have Claim Di installed on their phone they can “shake” the phone near the phone of the other party – this allows the two parties to recognize each other. That, in turn, allows the insurance companies for both sides to take over the process. Both drivers can then leave the crash scene immediately without waiting for surveyors. Kittinan says the company charges insurance companies whenever a car owner makes a claim, but the app is free for users.

3. The ability to scale

According to Hall, Golden Gate Ventures believes in the company’s ability to scale across Southeast Asia. He adds, “Vehicle insurance is a problem no matter where you look, but when you combine that with Claim Di's ability to also service motorbikes, easily the most ubiquitous form of transport in the region, you have the recipe for a highly-valuable, high-growth company."

Kittinan has the experience, after all. In 2005, his team developed the first mobile app for motorcycle insurance claims. “[This was] the first in the world, to the best of our knowledge,” he says. In 2011, they developed a system that coordinates various emergency departments in Thailand, which, he adds, can be regarded as the world’s first mobile app that can make an emergency call.

As for future plans, Kittinan is looking at expansion to the Asian and European markets, adding new features, and raising Series B funding.

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