San Diego, Calif.-based Mitchell, a provider of technology and information to the property/casualty claims and collision repair industries, recently released its predictions for trends related to cloud computing and big data analytics.
The company homes in on trends it believes could affect the industry throughout the year. Among the trends Mitchell’s forecast tackles are areas that workers’ compensation, auto casualty and auto physical damage professionals could find themselves dealing with in 2013.
According to Mitchell, more attention will be given to leveraging complex data sets. In other words, the ability to incorporate data from multiple sources and combine them with external data sources to enable “more intelligent decision-making” will become central to business operations.
In addition to big data, companies will explore how to incorporate ancillary sources and more sophisticated combinations of data sets to get an edge on the competition, according to the Mitchell report.
Not a surprise finding in the report is the demand for cloud computing will increase. The report asserts that in 2012 the adoption of cloud platforms and services continued to increase, and in 2013 insurance carriers will begin to consolidate cloud computing vendors and realize the benefits of working with a single provider.
A trend in collision repair is that recycled parts prices will decrease.
“We will see a softening of salvage vehicle values globally in 2013,” the report states. “As the European debt crisis continues to outpace our own, the Euro will further soften against the U.S. dollar. This will make it more expensive for Europeans to purchase U.S.-based salvage vehicles, reducing demand.”
Additional factors impacting salvage values are the increase in the annual rate of new car sales — according to the National Automobile Dealers Association they are expected to top 15.4 million in the U.S. in 2013, up by one million vehicles over 2012 — and the 250,000 total loss vehicles expected out of Hurricane Sandy.
All of this will depress salvage car values in 2013, according to the report, which states: “For consumers, this means that there will be an increase in the availability of recycled parts for vehicle repairs at a lower cost.”
However average industry cost to repair auto collision damage will increase.
“This will occur in part, to the softening of salvage values, putting more borderline vehicles in the ‘repairable’ column rather than ‘total loss’ and an overall inflation of labor, parts and paint in 2013,” the report states. “This will also occur from an increase in the cost of raw materials, such as paint mica and chemicals, as well as plastics and steel prices. In addition, we expect to see an increase in average hourly body shop labor charges if the economy continues to recover in 2013.”