Schadegarant: Preparing for a more flexible future with Google Kubernetes Engine

About Schadegarant

Stichting Schadegarant is a non-profit foundation in the Netherlands that coordinates insurers with car repair companies to improve safety, quality, efficiency, value and customer satisfaction in the repair process.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: The Netherlands

About Xomnia

Xomnia is a leading data consultancy in the Netherlands that builds bespoke solutions to extract maximum value from big data.

By basing its insurance claims filtering system on Google Kubernetes Engine, Schadegarant enters and updates rules governing filters with minimal disruption.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Enables easy updates to data filters to keep pace with a changing market
  • Delivers high availability thanks to autoscaling on Kubernetes Engine and Google Cloud SQL
  • Assures future flexibility with open-source compatible features

Real-time data analysis between 1,648 companies

Schadegarant is a cooperative created by eight car insurance companies in the Netherlands to negotiate on their behalf with car repair shops. Their collaboration improves the efficiency of the claims process and enables Schadegarant to purchase auto-repair services under improved conditions, helping to improve service and quality and ultimately reducing insurance costs for the car owner.

After an accident, any car owner insured through a Schadegarant company can visit one of 490 repair shops and 1,150 dealers affiliated with the cooperative. The key to providing them with good service is Schadegarant’s central data hub, which screens claims through a system of filters. Any anomalous or unusual claims are then investigated by loss adjusters, who can call or visit a repair shop to verify their legitimacy. Because that expertise is limited and costly, Schadegarant looks to use it only when necessary – a task that is becoming increasingly complex.

In recent years, the repair process has had to keep pace with the ever-growing sophistication of automobile design, as Frank van Donk, Director of Schadegarant, explains: “It’s no longer the case that a single body repair shop is able to carry out all of the necessary repairs on a car. Compared to ten years ago, cars today are big computers, and just a little damage to a camera or radar requires very specific expertise to fix. There’s a lot more specialisation.”

“Car repair is becoming more complicated as new cars come onto the market, built with ever-more sophisticated electronics and materials. Our claims filter system put us ahead of the competition, but it was inflexible. With Google and Xomnia, we created a system that can evolve, ready for the long term.”

Frank van Donk, Director, Stichtung Schadegarant

Schadegarant’s previous data platform operated with hard-coded rules and filters. To stay ahead of the changing insurance claims environment, the foundation worked with Xomnia to build a more flexible solution that could adapt and evolve to meet changing needs.

“Car repair is becoming more complicated as new cars come onto the market, built with ever-more sophisticated electronics and materials,” says Frank. “Our claims filter system put us ahead of the competition, but it was inflexible. With Google and Xomnia, we created a system that can evolve, ready for the long term.”

Building adaptable, stable new filters

foundation’s affiliates and members. One of its key functions is to apply filters that detect anomalous claims from repair shops. “With our previous system, everything in the filters was set up with hard-coded business rules,” says Frank. “That meant we had no way to add or modify them except to go to the supplier that built the platform and ask them for adjustments. It was inflexible, and based only on rules thought up by human beings.” In addition, the system ran from on-premises servers that were subject to downtime and instability. Schadegarant looked to build a highly available system that would make it easy to introduce and hone its filters, so that loss adjusters would only be called out to investigate claims that truly needed examination.

“With Google Cloud Platform we can feel sure that everything will be online when we need it. It’s highly scalable, so we don't have to worry about performance, and it brings so many cutting-edge features, like Google BigQuery, so you have access to the best tools around.”

William van Lith, Founding Partner, Xomnia

To do that, Schadegarant teamed up with Xomnia to build a robust, adaptable, real-time filter system on Google Cloud Platform. First, Xomnia created new rules for detecting anomalies based on an analysis of 100,000s of historic claims kept in the Schadegarant archives. By setting up these refined filters on highly available Google Cloud Platform products, Schadegarant provides excellent service, ensuring robust responses to peaks in traffic with autoscaling on Google Cloud SQL and Google Kubernetes Engine. Containerisation on Google Kubernetes Engine and Container Registry with Kubernetes delivers an ideal combination of central control and the opportunity for Schadegarant to update its own filters without downtime or instability.

“With Google Cloud Platform we can feel sure that everything will be online when we need it,” says William van Lith, Founding Partner, Xomnia. “It’s highly scalable, so we don't have to worry about performance, and it brings so many cutting-edge features, like Google BigQuery, so you have access to the best tools around.”

Connecting the old to the new

Schadegarant’s new filters still connect to the company’s old data platform, and the openness of Google Cloud Platform was a major consideration when designing the new solution, as William van Lith, founding partner at Xomnia explains. “Google Cloud Platform's openness to connecting to other systems was a real advantage. We're not replacing the old system, so we the ease with which we could connect the old system to the new was really important to us.”

“Google Cloud Platform is really open and because we’ve built a solution around Kubernetes, which is also open-source, we know we have real flexibility for future decisions,” says William. “As a rule, Google Cloud Platform embraces open-source technology, and we really admire that, because that’s where a lot of the most significant developments are being made.”

Exploring new possibilities with Google teams

Now Schadegarant and Xomnia are investigating ways to use Google Cloud Platform tools to predict possible damage costs on the basis of photographic evidence.

“Our next project could be predicting repair quotations based on photographic evidence of damage, creating rules from Schadegarant’s photographic archive,” says William. “The Google team that we’ve worked with are excited about the idea, and have told us there’s a possibility that we could use algorithms not yet available on general release. We really feel that with Google’s help and enthusiasm, we’re ahead of the game.”

About Schadegarant

Stichting Schadegarant is a non-profit foundation in the Netherlands that coordinates insurers with car repair companies to improve safety, quality, efficiency, value and customer satisfaction in the repair process.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: The Netherlands

About Xomnia

Xomnia is a leading data consultancy in the Netherlands that builds bespoke solutions to extract maximum value from big data.

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