Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Centurion-based private investigation services firm Facilitating Investigating and Consulting Services (FICS) has developed a mobile application aimed at fast-tracking road accident claims and reducing insurance fraud.

The app, which was launched two weeks ago and is free on Android and Apple’s iOS platforms, enables users to capture data such as the location, date and time of the accident, vehicle details, as well as road and weather conditions. It also allows for photographs, videos, and witness statements and contact details to be collected. There is also an option to call the police, emergency services and the next of kin.

Mobile apps are playing a key role in improving efficiency and customer service. They have also disrupted traditional business models.

In one of its reports, Deloitte said businesses needed to do a better job of sifting through the noise to identify ground-breaking innovations that deliver value. FICS chairman Gerhardt Becker said investigations into road accidents often take years to close because of incorrect information captured manually. The aim is to shorten the investigating period and provide accurate information needed for claims. "We are filling that gap."

After 23 years of experience in the private investigation industry with a focus on the Road Accident Fund, Becker saw a need to expedite the legal process in order to resolve third party claims.

FICS is targeting insurance companies, legal firms, the Road Accident Fund, the car towing industry, car rental and truck industry and possibly the police.

Once the information is captured, it is stored on a cloud-based server and is made available for purchase.

The person who collected the accident data is paid R500 after the report is sold to relevant organisations such as insurance or law companies.

To achieve a national footprint, FICS plans to have 145 franchisees who will typically be individuals or small firms with experience in law, accounting, insurance, investigative work, third-party claims and assessments.

They will provide various forensic, investigative and consulting services.

"We are seeing a greater interest in quantum and merit investigations, while at the same time compliance requirements are growing in importance and complexity," Becker said.

This has resulted in an increasing workload that many organisations and departments struggle to manage because of a shortage of skills in assessment and investigations, he said.

FICS is working on adding a feature for housebreaking incidents with the intention of speeding up the claim process and eliminating potential fraud.

Expansion of the app into the other African countries is also on the cards.

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