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Rolf Schleiss: not every dent is parking damage

Helvetia claims expert Rolf Schleiss from Ueken AG sees up to 1,700 damaged vehicles every year. His watchful eyes spot any attempt at fraud, even when motorists have used ice cubes to try and imitate hail damage.

21 December 2016, text: Isabella Awad, photo: Michael Sieber

Helvetia claims expert Rolf Schleiss has seen a fair few traffic accidents like this. He goes on to examine them closely.
Helvetia claims expert Rolf Schleiss enjoys his job. “One thing that’s not so easy to deal with are accidents that result in deaths.”

“My work revolves around all possible material damage to vehicles: be they cars, motorbikes, bicycles, trucks, and now sometimes even trams. I also assess camper vans and determine the value of vintage cars. I travel around 100 kilometres every day and produce around six expert reports. That amounts to around 1,000 reports a year. That means I assess up to 1,700 vehicles!

Not all damages are paid for

It can be difficult when I have to refuse a claims payment. I generally do that over the telephone. I confront the customer directly with the facts, for example ‘it is not parking damage’, and with objective arguments. This will often result in an argument. My 17 years as a claims expert have taught me not to take things personally. One thing that’s not so easy to deal with are accidents that result in deaths. When I inspect a car that has been involved in an accident, it does get me thinking.

Creative “hail damage”

I often find myself chuckling at claims descriptions. When the customer writes that he got out of the car and couldn’t find it again a short time later because it had rolled away. Or when somebody drops ice cubes from a balcony onto the roof of a car and then reports hail damage. That did actually happen! But the plan didn’t work, because a neighbour saw what they were doing. I dare say any claims inspector would agree with me when I say: there’s no end to the weird and wonderful things we see.”

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