Car owners typically hate their insurance companies. Having car insurance is seen as a necessary evil, and if something ever goes wrong, the process of getting an estimate for car repairs and receiving money from your insurance company to make those repairs is usually a huge pain.
Thanks to a company called Snapsheet, that process has gotten a lot simpler and faster, by allowing users to upload photos of the damage and receiving a response via mobile app. And soon it should be in the hands of even more people, thanks to deals with many major insurance companies, as well as $10 million in new funding.
In addition to the funding, Snapsheet is bringing on industry veteran David Bauer as its COO. Bauer was previously the CIO and SVP of corporate development for Copart, an auction company for salvage vehicles. While at Copart, Bauer saw the company grow from $50 million to nearly $1 billion in revenue, thanks in part to greater adoption of technology to connect buyers and sellers.
Snapsheet was originally known as BodyShopBids, and at that point it sought to provide a marketplace for auto repairs by enabling customers to upload photos of their damaged vehicles and seek bids from various service providers. Well, it still makes apps that allow users to upload photos of car damage, but now those apps are used to get estimates for insurance providers and help them to get money for repairs a lot faster.
Snapsheet has created and powers white-label apps for a number of major car insurance providers, including AIG, MetLife, National General, and USAA… and it’s got more carriers signing up and deploying their own branded apps soon. According to co-founder CJ Przybyl, Snapsheet expects to have four more of the top 20 insurance carriers on its system over the next four months.
That’s because Snapsheet helps to streamline the process, eliminating the need for insurance companies to send an agent or for customers to take their cars to a repair shop to get an estimate. Once that’s done, those customers usually have to wait for a check to be mailed to them, a process which can take up to two weeks to complete.
Snapsheet, by contrast, can have an estimate in under an hour, and customers typically get paid in less than 24 hours. It also takes care of customer service for app users, taking a load off the labor needs of insurance companies.
With more insurance companies on board and more customers getting used to sending mobile photos of their wrecks via mobile app, Snapsheet is now on a run rate to process about 50,000 claims a year. By the end of 2014, the company expects to be doing 300,000 claims a year, which would put it near the top 10 companies in terms of claims processed.
With that increase in volume, the company is also looking to increase its headcount. At about 50 employees now, it plans to grow to about 150 by the end of next year. The funding should help with that increase, as it seeks to scale up and meet growing demand.