DAILY NEWS Feb 27, 2013 11:39 AM - 0 comments

Average auto collision repair costs will increase: report

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Software maker Mitchell International Inc. released Tuesday predictions for the property and casualty insurance and automotive repair industries, forecasting lower prices for recycled parts, an overall increase in the cost to repair damaged vehicles and an increased demand for cloud computing.

“The average industry cost to repair auto collision damage will increase,” San Diego-based Mitchell stated in a press release. “This will occur in part, to the softening of salvage values, putting more borderline vehicles in the ‘repairable’ column rather than ‘total loss.’”

The firm predicts “an overall inflation” of parts, price and labour prices this year plus an increase in new car sales.

“Combining these factors with the 250,000 total loss vehicles expected out of Hurricane Sandy will depress salvage car values in 2013,” Mitchell stated. “For consumers, this means that there will be an increase in the availability of recycled parts for vehicle repairs at a lower cost.”

The company also predicts this year that insurance carriers “will begin to consolidate cloud computing vendors and realize the benefits of working with a single provider, such as streamlined and accelerated deployment of new offerings, reduced operational costs and improved data exchange and information sharing.”

Companies will also take advantage of data from multiple sources, Mitchell suggested.

"In addition to addressing the complexities of big data (e.g. volume, velocity and data management), companies will explore how to incorporate ancillary sources and more sophisticated combinations of data sets to get an edge on the competition," Mitchell stated.

Mitchell makes software for both insurance claims management and automotive repair shops. 

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