It's 4 a.m. and your phone rings. A homeowner awoke to water in their basement and needs your help. Imagine if in this moment, you could take a real-time look at the damage, before you even get on site. Librestream’s Onsight live virtual presence software makes it possible.

This technology really got its start within insurance as a tool between homeowners and insurance companies. For example, USAA has Onsight integrated into its mobile app, which has millions of users. All the adjuster has to do is ask the homeowner if they would like to file a video claim, and the process gets underway. This capability landed USAA on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies List in 2015. It debuted on that list in the 28th slot, which is considered the “all-star” list.

“Depending on the type of claim, [USAA] is able to resolve claims that used to take 7 days, in a live video session, and pay that customer out on that same call,” explained Marieke Wijtkamp, the vice president of marketing and client services at Librestream.

And companies already embracing Onsight’s capabilities are looking well beyond working with the customers; they also see a connection between adjusters and contractors, contractors and homeowners, and beyond.

There are some service industries outfitting field technicians with this technology on their mobile devices so they can “call” back to home base and walk through the job with a project manager to get a second opinion if needed. This is very promising for training or mentoring, for example, a new water tech.

Here’s the workflow process from an insurance adjuster standpoint, but it would be very similar for a restoration contractor.

  1. The homeowner calls the adjuster saying their basement is flooded, and opens a claim.
  2. The adjuster initiates a video claim, if approved by the homeowner, by simply clicking the “video” button on their tool. Immediately, the member gets a message asking for permission to share their camera. It won’t happen until they say yes. It also shows the homeowner they’re in a video call while the camera is “live.”
  3. The adjuster gets to work snapping photos, making notes, zooming, pausing, etc. to get a good, clear look at the damage. They’re doing everything they need to do to get a claim, all the homeowner has to do is hold the camera and talk.
  4. The information is used to file & pay out a claim.

Plus, the tool does a lot more than just show a live picture. It goes far beyond a Skype or FaceTime call.

“The level of interactivity is designed to collaborate on objects and environments, and not to see your face. There are things you need to be able to do that seem unimportant that are really quite critical,” Wijtkamp explained.  “That member in their home really doesn’t want to learn a new tool, so the adjuster, restorer, or insurer controls the whole experience.”

For example, you can pause video and draw on it. Or, the homeowner can draw something on their end to point something out to you. Onsight also records the call, allows the contractor to remotely control the camera on the user’s phone, invite others into the call, share files, take photos, and more. The content can be stored in the secure corporate knowledge base to be used in the claims or job process, and available to reference later.

Do you need to use a thermal imaging camera to get some readings? Simply plug it into Librestream’s Onsight Collaboration Hub, and stream that live to the remote expert, too.

Plus, don’t worry if you are in an area with spotty cell service, especially in a CAT loss situation where cell towers might be down or networks inundated with calls. Librestream has really focused on making sure the technology works pretty much anywhere, so even with very low bandwidth, you can capture video and high-resolution images. You should be able to zoom in on a pipe and see the specks of rust without a problem.

“Clear visuals are important. You can’t do an estimate remotely if those visuals aren’t really good,” Wijtkamp explained. “And there has to be an experienced estimator on the other end. They have to be able to engage.”

Video collaboration is relatively new to the insurance industry, but Librestream is pushing ahead full steam with pilot programs with various carriers, and showing the carriers how they can adopt the product to use with customers, contractors, adjusters, and other parties. As the innovative technology evolves, it’s only a matter of time before restorer’s see it emerging in this industry.

Watch the quick video below for a glimpse at Onsight in action.