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Jul 2024

Synchronising technologies for insurance claims management

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2024

Anyone who attended ANZIIF’s Australian Insurance Industry Awards last year will already be familiar with Sync Technologies since the company bagged the InsurTech Startup of the Year for 2023 award. We caught up with the InsurTech’s Ms Carolina Dreifuss to find out more.
By Paul McNamara
Headquartered in Sydney, Sync Technologies CEO and co-founder Carolina Dreifuss has successfully leveraged her background in both technology and construction to develop an InsurTech platform that has already proved a hit in insurance, construction and telecommunications.
The smart idea behind Sync Technologies lies in ‘synchronising technologies’ already in the market to solve a problem. In the case of the Australian insurance sector, the problem is the time and the expense of accurately recording and assessing claims for property damage.
The business opportunity
The business got off the ground soon after Ms Dreifuss returned to Australia from Asia at the onset of the pandemic to be confronted by a nation increasingly ravaged by Nat CAT.
“You have all these CAT events in addition to regular building claims,” said Ms Dreifuss. “All these residential and commercial buildings affected by an event on which insurers have to do the claims management process and builders need to repair the damages.”
Ms Dreifuss envisaged a solution that could help parties at both ends of the claims process by offering a shared platform built upon state-of-the-art technologies.
“We see ourselves as the intersection between the insurers, TPAs, claims specialists and construction professionals like builders, engineers, project managers and building consultants,” said Ms Dreifuss. “Our aim is actively to support and build internal capabilities to enhance assessment and claims handling proficiency with our existing customers.”
Web-based platform
Data relating to each claim event is aggregated on a secure but easy-to-use website where it can be accessed and analysed by all the authorised parties.
“The whole idea lies in the intersection between insurance claims management and supporting the repair works,” said Ms Dreifuss. “By providing visual information and analysis directly accessible on a desktop, we simplify the claims management and repair process.
“As an example, as an assessor you often don’t have enough time to do all the measurements by hand, and you rely on photographs and rushed notes to do the estimation of costs. The Sync Tech platform allows for all relevant stakeholders to assess, scope, estimate, tender and review a building virtually, increasing the quality of the information and eliminating the need for multiple on-site visits.
Convincing insurers
How Sync Technologies articulates to insurance companies the problem that it can solves for them lies in a simple demonstration process.
“Depending on the profile of work, when a claim is lodged, you have the claims manager who has all the data points,” said Ms Dreifuss. “Then it’s assigned to an internal or external assessor. The assessor has to go on site and capture the information. They may have five or six buildings to inspect per day. After taking pictures and writing notes, they go back to the office, write in a report and often send that report to somebody else to estimate the repair costs.
“A panel builder then does the scoping based on that information. If something doesn’t add up, they need to go back on site. Often you have to send five to 10 different individuals to go on site and most of the process is done manually,” she said.
Sync Technologies takes much of the inconvenience out of the whole process for insurers.
“It’s all there in a project on the platform - the virtual replica, the pictures, the notes, the floor plan,” said Ms Dreifuss. “The platform enables all stakeholders to collaborate on the same model reducing duplication of effort. For example, if I’m in the office and I’m doing the estimation, I can virtually walk through the building and invite the panel builder to the project do the estimation. They can then use the model and information for preparing the repair works.”
Working with the insurance industry
The InsurTech is already working with insurers in Australia.
“We’re here to support the industry, and we’re here at the end to support the families and businesses who have to deal with the aftermath of any event impacting their home or building,” said Ms Dreifuss.
“In developing our solution, we have directly addressed many of the concerns highlighted by the recent ASICS claims handling review and the parliamentary flood enquiry, such as enabling insurers to expedite assessment timeframes and claims resolutions, enhancing accessibility and transparency across multiple stakeholders during peak periods and most importantly providing a better experience for the policy holder. That’s our end goal, to support the market and the people impacted.” she said.
Quantifying the time saving and the cost saving from using the platform will be an inexact science, but Ms Dreifuss is confident that the savings are obvious.
“We have first indications,” she said. “Previously, conducting the initial assessment could take over 10 days due to the need to coordinate multiple onsite visits and write reports and estimations based on photos and notes. Now, significant time and cost savings can be achieved by increasing the quality of information, reducing travel requirements and by minimising duplication of effort. Moreover, leveraging a collaborative desktop environment allows all stakeholders to work together more efficiently.”
InsurTech funding
Sync Technologies has already earned the attention of InsurTech investors.
“Sync Technologies is a VC-backed start-up,” said Ms Dreifuss. “We were first backed by Antler and have since raised a pre-Series A at the end of last year. We have plans for a Series A later this year, with a focus on expanding internationally.” A 
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