Note: This report is based on the experience of an automobile expert.
To understand how important experts are for car insurants and insurance companies alike when it comes to assessing car accidents and creating damage reports, we have to take a closer look at some figures. Each year about 4 million accidents happen on German streets. In 2007 the police reported over 2.3 million car accidents – a decreasing number in 2008 – in which 436,268 individuals had been involved. In the same year car insurers paid 19 billion euros, covering 8.4 million insurance claims. On average, the third-party risk insurance of one car accident alone costs 3,542 euros; a relatively constant number over the last years (source GDV).
Many of these accidents involve conflicts between the affected parties, legal counsel, insurances and the court. These costs the affected cannot usually foresee objectively. Thousands of court decisions have to ensure the fair regulation of damage based on expert opinions.
In the same way insurance companies and courts rely on experts, so every driver has the right to consult an expert as well. It is the report of those experts on which the opposing insurance company and the judge base the regulation of damage. According to a decision of the German high court, such expert opinions have to include all the aspects relevant to damage regulation – for example: loss in value, replacement and the salvage value of the cars involved.
Due to the enormous commercial importance of expert opinions, the reliability and informational value of such opinions have to be assured. Therefore, the professionalism of engineers and experts, their constant training and education as well as their collaboration in committees, boards, professional associations and in the court of law guarantee a high-quality standard. This high standard depends enormously on the application of state-of-the-art measuring and documentation technology suited for future use. Modern coating thickness measuring systems contribute considerably to the objectification of damage assessment.
Suitability for daily use and reliability during practical application are the most important aspects of such new technology. This is one of the reasons for us, as appointed, sworn, and certified experts of automobile damage and assessment, to emphasize “putting new technology to the acid test”.
In this report we describe the results of such a test with the world novel coating thickness gauge CarCheck System from AUTOMATION Dr. Nix, Cologne.
Coating thickness measurements provide the foundation of any automobile assessment and determination of accident cause. Vehicle coating thickness measurements that are to be assessed provide an essential precondition of professional expert opinions of accident-related damage and car assessment. Customers benefit from it in the same way as insurance companies, where often millions of euros are at stake. Mainly, however, we aim for objectivity and justice in the court of law.
Thanks to many years of practical experience as automobile experts in one of Germany’s leading automobile expert companies, we knew the time and money-consuming steps that were necessary, until now, to create professional expert opinions. For example – “Coating thickness gauge in one hand, notepad in the other, jotting down measurements taken from the measuring spots on the car. Then the time-consuming analysis, the report for the insurance company and the court – without solid documentation –, each time like a puzzle, and at the end a slight doubt still remaining…”
Previous methods for creating assessment and damage reports with conventional gauges – although accurate – have been tedious, time consuming and cost-intensive.
All paint measurements, taken individually, had to be carefully noted down by hand into specially created graphs or tables. Vehicle and customer data had to be integrated and printed separately on the company documents of the test organization, consuming even more time. For that reason alone, we tested a new measuring system – with great interest but critically – which was to significantly reduce the amount of work in creating expert opinions.
Indeed, all our experiences and knowledge in testing, gained in daily practice, affirm that the CarCheck System facilitates the work of automobile experts considerably. The menu navigation and computer-aided documentation the device provides play an important part in this evaluation.
Experience with the New CarCheck SystemThe automatic and menu-navigated measuring system provides accurate measurements as well as easy-to-use software solutions for individual analysis and documentation that is acknowledged in the courts. This results in the CarCheck System, in combination with its modular principle, being a cost and time saving, value-creating instrument for all experts.
Test results in regard to value and use of the CarCheck System are summarized as follows. Thanks to its uncomplicated and reliable use, the system saves an enormous amount of time while creating a report. The menu navigated all-around-measurement of a car makes daily work a lot easier. The perfect documentation of all relevant data is especially convincing in the court of law.
We used gauges from AUTOMATION Dr. Nix for many years and their devices are considered part of the standard equipment of our experts. Based on the proven technology, the company, a worldwide leading manufacturer of coating thickness measuring technology based in Cologne, developed the CarCheck System from experience for practical use.
As with the previously used coating thickness gauges from this company (such as the standard gauge QNix®1500), we found that in addition to the accuracy within a measuring range of up to 5 mm the practical, easy-to-use operation and calibration as well as high reliability in daily use are a central aspect of the device. In close collaboration with automobile experts AUTOMATION Dr. Nix developed a testing system that meets our desires and practical requirements in the most suitable manner.
“The real life use, based on the proven technology of the QNix 1500, combined with analysis and documentation, provides a vast range of uses for the new CarCheck System within the automotive industry” says Rolf Steffens supplier of automobile experts, “highest standard and documentation in one.”
After intense use in our company, I would summarize our opinion on the new CarCheck system as follows. The advantages are obvious: Easy installation and operation thanks to menu navigation and a considerably faster measurement process. No other device does that. I can only suggest to my colleagues to make use of this value creating device.”
System DescriptionThe menu navigated CarCheck measuring system sets new standards in coating measurement and documentation within the automobile industry. Until now, expert opinions and vehicle assessments involved coating thickness strength, vehicle and customer data that had to be copied tediously by hand and printed. The new CarCheck System, in combination with the user-friendly CarCheck software, coordinates all necessary steps of measuring, analysis, and documentation and also allows for individual and specific requirements of automobile experts.
During our test, we determined that this new professional system – although only the size of a cell phone – facilitates our work enormously. Thanks to the easy systematic analysis and documentation our reports are acknowledged as more significant in the court of law – something that is very important to us.
Of course, there is a ”small computer“ inside this miniaturized gauge, which can be programmed for any individual measuring task using the special CarCheck software. This convenient programming of the system reduces the amount of work necessary during preparation stage. A self-explanatory job wizard guides you through the CarCheck software starting with the implementation of the measuring task in the gauge and ending with the finished measuring log.
The simple menu navigation shown on the gauge’s easy to read display shortens the amount of time necessary for each measurement and provides professional security. After entering the company and user data, the vehicle can be specified with all relevant characteristics such as the chassis number for example, to allocate it clearly to its owner.
Thanks to preset measuring spots on the vehicle, with specified coating strength, fast menu-navigated measurement, documentation and analysis is easily achieved using the CarCheck System.
Concrete measuring instructions in the display of the CarCheck System navigate you automatically through the complete measuring process – measurement of the complete vehicle that is to be assessed. To do so you can chose between Basic measurement (three measurements per vehicle part) or Intensive measurement (six measurements per vehicle part).
Measurement results are saved within the gauge and transmitted wirelessly to a PC using a probe on the gauge. As soon as the data is available, the documentation is created automatically. Personal, individual information can also be included.
Together with the documentation the CarCheck System provides a tabular analysis of the coating thickness measurements, a schematic presentation of the vehicle type and all necessary vehicle and customer data. Company address and logo as well as the digital signature of the expert legalize the documentation, making it a legally binding protocol. We constantly felt the practical experience behind the product during all our test measurements. The result is a device, possible only thanks to the intensive cooperation between paint industry and automobile experts whose experiences and wishes as well as the concrete requirements have been considered during the development of the CarCheck System.
AUTOMATION Dr. Nix not only developed a highly accurate coating thickness measuring gauge, but also a practical and sophisticated measuring system providing, in combination with a software-based solution for automated analysis and documentation, a state-of-the-art solution for any automobile expert.
SummaryThe CarCheck gauge is more than a conventional coating thickness gauge. It facilitates and shortens the assessment of damage significantly and provides a professional analysis and documentation that is acknowledged in the court of law.
A self-explanatory job wizard navigates the user through the CarCheck software starting with entering the measuring task and ending with the finished measuring log. Concrete measuring instructions in the display navigate the user through the complete measuring process – measurement of a complete vehicle on all spots relevant to the damage. The measurement results are saved within the gauge and transmitted via wireless USB-interface to the CarCheck documentation and administration software.
As soon as the data is available, the documentation is provided automatically, still allowing for added personal information. The system also provides a tabular analysis of coating thickness measurements, a schematic presentation of the vehicle type and all necessary vehicle and customer data. After entering the company and user data, the vehicle is specified using relevant characteristics such as the chassis number to allocate the vehicle clearly to its owner. Company address and logo of the expert’s company in together with the digital signature legalize the documentation, making it a legally binding protocol, even in the court of law.
Further information, visit www.q-nix.de or www.carchecksystem.de.