Client News

New Perspectives on COVID and Insurance Industry’s Digital Transformation

COVID Speeds Up Insurance Industry’s Digital Transformation, CAT Season Ending, New Branch Raises the Bar, and Thanksgiving Schedule

Published November 19, 2020 - Written by Steve Muscarello

6 min read


Steve Muscarello, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer at IAA, looks at how COVID has sped up the insurance industry’s digital transformation. 

Good Afternoon,

I want to start off by wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. It has been a challenging year, but I believe it’s especially important during trying times to stop and remember all that we have to be thankful for. One thing I’m particularly grateful for, in addition to my family and health, is our IAA customers. So thank you! Alright, let’s get to what IAA is doing to improve your returns, cycle times and ease of doing business. 

First up is a Perspectives piece on how COVID-19 has really sped up the insurance industry’s digital transformation. Written by Maju Abraham, IAA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, the article provides some great insights. Of particular interest is how the digital claims process actually improves customer satisfaction as more than ever consumers prefer less human interaction during transactions. This issue has been on our radar for some time, and became even more evident as the pandemic’s impact was felt. As I mentioned in our recent newsletter on IAA’s technology superiority, touchless claims continue to be at the forefront of our innovation priorities. I encourage you to check out Maju’s article. 

The 2020 CAT season has been one for the record books. Not only in terms of the number of named storms—which continues to grow as of this writing—but also because it all took place during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Hurricane Eta, one of the most powerful November hurricanes on record, recently made its way through Florida and it appears Eta won’t be the last named storm this year. Throughout CAT season IAA is prepared to help our carriers meet the many challenges catastrophes present. Our popular CAT Brief Series spells out how we do that. And, be on the lookout for an end of CAT season article from IAA once the season has officially come to a close. 

I’m really looking forward to the first digital auction at IAA Los Angeles South on Thursday, December 3. This new facility is now the industry standard and represents the significant investment IAA is putting into building new branches as well as upgrading and expanding existing sites. Ultimately it means good things—better outcomes and experiences—for IAA’s sellers and buyers. 

Finally, a quick heads up: IAA will be closed on Thursday, November 26, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. All auctions other than those listed here will proceed at their regular scheduled date and time. All of our branch locations are currently open, and digital auctions are accessible via IAA AuctionNow™ on and the IAA Buyer App

As always, thank you for your business. Stay safe, healthy and have a great Thanksgiving. I will be in touch again soon. 

Steve Muscarello, Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, IAA 

Steve Muscarello, 
Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, IAA 

Forward-Looking Statements:   

Certain statements contained in this newsletter include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements made that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by words such as “should,” “may,” “will,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” and similar expressions. In this release, such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the expected timing and associated benefits with respect to the products, platforms, and locations discussed in this newsletter, on our business and plans regarding our growth strategies and margin expansion plan, and to our customers and company generally. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations, are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results projected, expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: uncertainties regarding the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures intended to reduce its spread; the loss of one or more significant vehicle seller customers or a reduction in significant volume from such sellers; our ability to meet or exceed customers’ demand and expectations; significant current competition and the introduction of new competitors or other disruptive entrants in our industry; the risk that our facilities lack the capacity to accept additional vehicles and our ability to obtain land or renew/enter into new leases at commercially reasonable rates; our ability to effectively maintain or update information and technology systems; our ability to implement and maintain measures to protect against cyberattacks and comply with applicable privacy and data security requirements; our ability to successfully implement our business strategies or realize expected cost savings and revenue enhancements, including from our margin expansion program; business development activities, including acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses; our expansion into markets outside the U.S. and the operational, competitive and regulatory risks facing our non-U.S. based operations; our reliance on subhaulers and trucking fleet operations; changes in used-vehicle prices and the volume of damaged and total loss vehicles we purchase; economic conditions, including fuel prices, commodity prices, foreign exchange rates and interest rate fluctuations; trends in new- and used-vehicle sales and incentives; and other risks and uncertainties identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including under Item 1A "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2019 filed with the SEC on March 18, 2020 and in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 29, 2020 filed with the SEC on May 6, 2020, as such risk factors may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by other reports we file with the SEC, including subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Reports on Form 10-K. Many of these risk factors are outside of our control, and as such, they involve risks which are not currently known that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed or implied herein. The forward-looking statements included in this newsletter are made as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect new information or events, except as required by law.