Carlyle-backed Sedgwick buys 2 auto damage appraisal firms, foresees more market consolidation

Insurance services company Sedgwick on Tuesday announced it had bought the auto damage appraisal companies Metro Appraisal and Automotive Damage Appraisers of the Southwest.

Automotive Damage Appraisers from the Southwest does business in Colorado, Boise state broncos and Texas. It goes back to 1952 and it has the majority of its operations in New Mexico. It boasts that “We're not a network. Whenever you assign a claim to us – we all do the job not someone else!” It also says it has memberships in I-CAR and ASE.

“This partnership is really a natural next step for the ADASW team; our long history serving customers within the Southwest region is well matched with Sedgwick's global history in insurance claims,” ADASW President Barry Porter said in a statement. “We are thrilled to bolster our combined network in the American Southwest and to become a part of the renowned Sedgwick organization.”

Metro Appraisal operates throughout Florida but calls itself the the biggest appraisal firm within the Southeast.

“Our regional expertise, paired with Sedgwick's national network of excellence within the claims space, would be the start of a thrilling new chapter for the Metro team,” Metro Appraisal President Scott Eskine said in a statement.

The Metro Appraisal website states the firm has more than 27 appraisers and handles more than 50,000 appraisals or inspections annually.

“We are excited to announce these strategic acquisitions and expand our solutions and footprint in the auto appraisal space,” Sedgwick managing director for auto appraisals Chris Bakes said in a statement. “Adding ADASW and Metro towards the Sedgwick family enhances our coast-to-coast auto solutions team and reflects our resolve for providing comprehensive, tech-driven claims solutions for our clients.”

The ADASW and Metro Appraisal acquisitions come less than a year after Sedgwick bought Nationwide Appraisals and entered the car damage appraisal business. On Tuesday, Sedgwick called its “the U.S. leader in top quality auto and heavy equipment appraisal solutions.”

“Adding Nationwide Appraisals to Sedgwick's comprehensive auto suite further improves the company's fully in-house digital claims process,” Sedgwick wrote inside a news release this past year. “The combined end-to-end solution provides first- and third-party claims handling, intake, appraisal, repair, vehicle replacement, salvage, qc, liability assessment and other facets of car accident aftermath-all within one seamless network. Sedgwick's centralized and flexible auto claim process offers new and existing customers efficient and high-quality service.”

Sedgwick says it has a lot more than 1,000 independent auto and high equipment appraisers. It said in many locations, it requires ASE and I-CAR certifications.

The company also touts quick turnaround times — as little as 2-3 days — and innovative workflows and procedures in the auto appraisals. Additionally, it provides the choice to send an appraiser for any “photos only solution,” which seems to make reference to Sedgwick capturing and collecting some information regarding the automobile however leaving it up towards the insurer to create the estimate.

Sedgwick is really a portfolio company from the publicly traded Carlyle Group, which manages $260 billion in assets and according to Nasdaq has a market cap of nearly $15.69 billion.

Fueled by public investors and equity capital, the auto body repair and also the collision paint, body and equipment distribution industries happen to be undergoing consolidation.

We asked Sedgwick if a similar trend existed in the independent auto damage appraisal space and if the company planned to help keep growing with consolidation.

“We are seeing more and more carriers are preferring national coverage vs controlling their very own regional network,” Bakes said inside a statement. “We foresee additional consolidation in the market and Sedgwick is definitely searching for the best possibilities to add value to our company, network and client base.”