Meet the Founder: Chris Tilkov
By AiME, April 27, 2021
We’re all looking to get our estimates reviewed and approved faster. If you are involved in estimating or reviewing insurance estimates, you just want to get it right. You are the estimating professional in the process and establishing a fair price for good work is all that you’re looking for. You’re not caught up in the politics or larger strategies that lead to accusations that somebody is taking advantage of someone else.
AS ESTIMATORS AND REVIEWERS, WHAT ARE WE UP AGAINST?
Massive pricing databases, from Xactimate, Symbility or another platform (up to 27,000 options!).
The expectation that you are expert in all trades from foundation to roofing and everything in between.
Specific carrier/TPA protocols, some of which are so similar to the next that, the nuances are difficult to commit to memory, but essential to meeting the SLAs.
So, management hires specialists and team leads, and you all get to work. Two weeks in the large loss specialist cannot get to every job, the abatement expert has a pile of files on their desk, and the mitigation specialist is retiring next month! These are expensive resources, whose workload is affected by the season, vacations, and staffing shortages. We are at a state in our industry where very few people have a chance to keep up with the demands of being a reviewer for a single carrier, much less an estimator that has files for multiple carriers. LET’S ADD A 4TH POINT TO THE THINGS THAT YOU ARE UP AGAINST:
If you have done it all and hold all of the certifications , then you are at the top of your field. Let’s just say you have HAAG, XCT, CIP, Red seal, Phd, whatever, you now have to stay current on all of the updates and changes in each of your specialties. When do you squeeze in work? Are you sure you remembered EVERYTHING? Let’s be real, even the best among us can’t do it all…unassisted. What if we could ALL estimate consistently, and we could expect and predict what a reviewer would require? Would that kind of efficiency be good for our industry? Can we all read from the same play book? To run a business, contractors have to ensure that an estimate or invoice covers the materials and services performed or required, and carriers are well within their rights to ask detailed questions to ensure accuracy. And yet somehow, using the same estimating program, two estimators might come up with two different prices, and a reviewer might come up with a third. Consider: We are all human, people are people, and although armed with the best of intentions, they bring strengths and weaknesses to everything that they do, including estimating restoration work. However, when an estimator and a reviewer get on the phone and talk about the project, they almost always work it out quickly, once they agree what line items belong, and which ones do not. Why can’t this be easier? IT CAN. The powerful estimating databases that are now being used contain the knowledge of countless contributing industry experts and surveys. Bots can scan the estimate with the same knowledge of specialists in each trade and can go a step further. They can scan for completeness of scope including potential missing items, and for items that are over scoped or duplicated. Depending on the quality of the program, ‘bots’ can scan each estimate for hundreds of thousands of possible recommendations. If you’re looking for efficiencies…. it’s 2021 and Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) is here. Estimators and Reviewers of the future will not be replaced by AI and RPA. Estimators and reviewers of the future will be replaced by those who embrace AI and RPA as a means to make themselves better and bring consistency across platforms and people for reliable results. The future is here, and we are starting to see these technologies leveraged at a rapidly increasing rate. ARE YOU READY?
Chris Tilkov is the President and Founder of AiME, RPA for estimating in the insurance restoration industry.