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Gig Economy Solves Inspection Requirement

An outdated law keeps New York consumers from taking advantage of a convenience that millions of other drivers already enjoy, WeGoLook can help.

Even as I prepare to write this article, I can hear the lilting melody of Alicia Keys’ tribute to New York City. Can you hear it?

“Hail a gypsy cab, take me down from Harlem to the Brooklyn Bri-i-i-i-idge…”

There are just certain things that jump to our minds when we think of New York.

I think of hot dogs, Central Park, awesome shopping, coffee shops, marquee lights on Broadway, and “bouquets of sharpened pencils” (yet another New York reference for you movie buffs).

What else comes to mind? Taxis… lots and lots of yellow taxis. And now in the era of the sharing economy, that also means lots and lots of Uber and Lyft drivers.

But did you know that an outdated New York law is keeping New York consumers from taking advantage of a convenience that millions of drivers in other states already enjoy?

In New York, a law exists that requires consumers wanting to sign up for new auto insurance coverage to first have their vehicle inspected by their insurance company. The law was enacted in the 1970s, and was designed to protect against insurance fraud.

These days, however, instead of preventing fraud, the law mostly produces frustration. Individuals must have their vehicles physically inspected by a licensed insurance agent or bring them to an inspection site before they can activate their auto insurance coverage.  

And this inspection requirement is ON TOP of the annual inspection required for all New York vehicles. So someone who owns multiple vehicles could potentially be required to do multiple inspections throughout the year! What else does this mean exactly?

Old Technology for New Times

Well, for starters, a lot of headaches, hassles, and inefficiency for consumers. They frequently report:

  • Insurance coverage lapsing due to failure to complete the inspection
  • Missing work to complete the inspection
  • Long wait times at inspection sites
  • Inconvenient hours at inspection sites
  • Inspection sites with inconvenient locations
  • Students at out-of-state colleges needing to drive their car all the way back to New York to complete the inspection, OR re-register their vehicle in another state
  • Insurance companies receiving inaccurate information about inspected vehicles

That’s a lot to deal with for the average car owner who may be balancing a full-time job, college courses, and/or a family, and has precious little time in which to get an inspection done.

But what choice do they have? 

For now, none. But, for drivers in other states, there is an alternative: smartphone-based vehicle inspection. The time has come for New Yorkers to have the same option. 

Mobile Innovation Changes Everything

Advances in mobile technology are radically changing the world we live in, empowering consumers to get work done conveniently and efficiently. Smartphones are at the core of this radical change. 

In fact, according to recent statistics by GO-Global, not only are smartphones being used by more people than ever, but those people are spending 52% of their time on those smartphones using mobile apps.

That’s incredible!

Statistics also indicate that 18 to 24-year-olds use more mobile apps than any other age group.

It’s no wonder that the global revenue from mobile apps has risen dramatically over the last few years from $35 billion in 2014 to $58 billion in 2016, and in 2017 is expected to hit $77 billion.

Why are Mobile Apps so Popular?

1. Mobility comes in all shapes and sizes

Almost 80% of consumers around the world have smartphones, 50% + have tablets, nearly 10% have wearable mobile devices, and 7% own all three.

That has had a significant effect on business practices around the world.

2. Location Based Services (LBS)

Most devices currently have GPS capabilities which empower users to get real-time information, right here, right now.

3. Internet-of-Things (IoT)

Again, this advancement in technology provides users with real-time control and information, regardless of where they are.

Forgot to turn your lights off at home? No problem. Just log into your Smarthome app and do it from the comfort of your office.

4. Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR)

This technology is revolutionizing how we interact with each other and with other software systems. Mobile app developers are expecting tremendous growth in this area.

In short, these mobile apps allow people to find the goods and services that they need quickly, easily, and cost-effectively. Or, in other words, the middlemen and gatekeepers have been all but eliminated.

Enter WeGoLook.

WeGoLook:  A Mobile App Combining Mobility with Manpower

Back to our discussion of the outdated NY law that requires drivers to obtain a vehicle inspection before they can activate their insurance coverage.

WeGoLook has come up with a robust solution for consumers who are too busy or simply too far away to obtain in-person inspections.

WeGoLook has developed mobile technology that puts a large mobile workforce at the fingertips of consumers.

 “Our platform combines mobility plus manpower to serve as your feet on the street, delivering real-time, efficient solutions customized to fit your business or personal needs.”

How Does it Work?

Here is a breakdown of exactly how the WeGoLook process unfolds.

  1. A client needs an inspection, and orders a vehicle inspection report from WeGoLook via their website or mobile app.
  2. A “Looker” is dispatched to perform the inspection. (By the way, the number of Lookers has grown from 7,400 in 2012 to over 30,000 in 2016.)
  3. The Looker then manages all aspects of the inspection from scheduling to coordinating the different parties to preparing the final report.
  4. Throughout this process, the client can monitor real-time progress on the inspection via the mobile app’s online dashboard.
  5. The WeGoLook app also has photo and text support so that clients can capture the right angles and desired information needed for the report.
  6. A management team reviews the report for quality assurance and accuracy.
  7. Then the client receives the detailed report, quickly and conveniently, and can download it directly from the app.

Given the power behind mobile technology and flexible workers, like WeGoLook’s Lookers, there is no reason consumers should be locked in to doing their inspections at tradtional inspection sites. 

The best option here is threefold. First, the use of flexible mobile inspectors can solve the problem of drivers having to physically take their vehicles to an inspection site.

Using the power of mobile apps, the burden is removed.

Second, mobile apps like WeGoLook’s can be used for ‘app consistency.’ That is, if a policyholder, insurance carrier, and third-party inspector are all using the same platform, there is a better chance of a successful transaction.

Third, for those savvier consmers, technology like WeGoLook’s app opens the door to the consumer also being able to self-inspect the vehicle by following the app’s instructions.  Certain states already allow self-inspection via smartphone for home inspections and claim inspections after an auto accident. 

In New York, however, for the pre-insurance inspection requirement, a new law would need to be enacted in order to empower consumers to self-inspect their vehicles using a smartphone app. This dream scenario would give consumers the option of using a WeGoLook Looker to complete their inspection, self-inspecting the vehicle using WeGoLook’s app, or completing the inspection via the traditional route.

WeGoLook:  On-Demand Solutions That Save Time and Energy!

The beautiful thing about a mobile app service like WeGoLook is that it will offer consistent and trustworthy results regardless of who requests the report--the policyholder, a third party, or the insurance carrier.

Can I add a little brag?

In August 2015, WeGoLook won 2015 Innovator of the Year, and was recognized as having “over 300% growth in the first half of 2015 and adding over 30 employees to the company, along with their proprietary mobile platform and first-to-market solutions for nationwide inspections.”

So, if you’re a busy and productive citizen of New York state, why not save yourself a heap of time and energy and utilize the professional and convenient expertise of this fantastic company?

Power should be in the hands (literally!) of consumers, not forced upon them by antiquated laws. People should have choice and convenience when providing proof that their vehicle exists and documenting pre-existing damage..

And in the end, it’s smart business for everyone involved. 

So this spring, I urge Albany lawmakers to enact a new law that would help consumers put today’s smartphone technology to better use. Let’s give New Yorkers smartphone-based options for their pre-insurance vehicle inspections.