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The proof is in the picture.

The increasing number of car thefts and the rise in related insurance fraud have led New Jersey's auto insurance industry to get tough. Some companies are looking to security professionals for help.

Since March 1991, New Jersey has required car owners to have their cars photographed and inspected by their insurance companies at the time of purchase. D.B. Kelly Associates, a security company involved in fraud investigations, studied the old Polaroid method and realized that it was flawed because the pictures tend to fade and get lost. The auto insurance industry needed to move toward electronic imaging and digitizing photos. With this theory in mind, the security company approached IBM.

Together IBM and D.B. Kelly have pioneered a computerized system that does away with the volumes of paperwork previously needed to trace, verify, and accurately dispose of fraudulent claims.

When a car owner goes to a participating inspection site, a complete four-sided color image of the vehicle is recorded on a two-inch diskette, which can store up to 50 images. The pictures and the insurance forms are scanned into the system, where they are stored.

When an insurance company receives a stolen vehicle claim and needs to access a customer's file, the insurer dials directly into the system. The vehicle information and color image photos are displayed on the terminal.

"We have had tremendous feedback," says D.B. Kelly CEO Dennis M. Kelly. "People are realizing that using the Polaroid method is prehistoric." Insurance companies used to have to pay for storage and a rental car while waiting for Polaroids to be mailed. "Now they can check your vehicle literally in a minute," Kelly explains.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:electronic imaging of cars
Publication:Security Management
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Previous Article:Is regulation the answer?
Next Article:Keep your fingers to yourself.

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