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Simplifying Damage Restitution for Minnesota DOT Case Study

Getting road user insurance funds to pay for damaged roadway assets was a challenge before MnDOT overhauled its claims restitution process with AgileAssets.


Streamlined processes help recoup higher payments for the agency.

Consolidating data from multiple systems into a streamlined solution, Minnesota Department of Transportation increased reimbursements by 30%-50% and reduced manual processing by 65%-75%.

A shattered guardrail, a downed roadway lantern, a smashed retaining wall. These are just some examples of roadway property damage that can occur during a road accident. In most cases, the governing transportation agency has a right to get paid back for infrastructure damages caused by the public. These payments are called “damage restitution”—and they can be difficult to track and capture.A metal and concrete block barrier

Getting road user insurance funds to pay for damaged roadway assets was a challenge before MnDOT overhauled its claims restitution process.


The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was filing insurance claims seeking millions of dollars in infrastructure damage restitution annually. The process for recording and documenting damage claims was very detailed and time-consuming.

To calculate the cost of these claims, MnDOT staff members were using data from different IT systems. Detailed damage repair information was not part of the agency’s day-to-day work reporting programs.

MnDOT had previously developed a standalone computer application to be used statewide by damage restitution specialists. However, the claim submission process required re-entering the same data up to four times on different forms before the claim could be filed.

In addition, without a single source of accurate data, MnDOT was using classification averages to calculate the costs of labor for damaged-property repairs, resulting in reimbursement of only 45% to 60% of the actual labor costs.

In addition to endangering the driver, passengers, and other travelers, a vehicle crash in winter weather can lead to severe guardrail damage.


The MnDOT staff needed a more efficient way to seek damage restitution. The new approach would need to streamline and consolidate processes that involved multiple systems holding data on more than a million individual assets and components.

MnDOT defined the following goals for the new approach:

  1. Streamline the damage restitution claims process, beginning with better recording of the necessary repairs all the way through to the final submission of claims.
  2. Establish a complete, detailed roadway asset inventory located in a single, consolidated system to make recording, reporting, filing, and processing claims much easier and more thorough. The inventory must include assets such as signals, lights, signs, barriers, and more.
  3. Develop a mechanism to record claims-eligible repair work on the relevant assets at the time of the repairs.
  4. Combine repairs of different asset types into a single claim.
  5. Create a system where claims specialists can search and retrieve records of already-completed work and attach them to the claim without the need to contact a supervisor.
  6. Validate the new process and actions taken to restore roadway assets to their pre-accident condition.

We now have a system that no longer uses classification averages for costing, but actual costs—which means we can get paid 90%-95% of the labor costs for the damage repair, not 45%-60%, as we did in the past.

Tom Zimmerman, Planning Director – Transportation, MnDOT


MnDOT uses the AgileAssets®  integrated, enterprise solution as its Transportation Asset Management System (TAMS) of record. The solution consolidates the data from many legacy systems into a unified database for a single source of truth; it also allows data to be shared with other relevant areas of the organization, such as the finance department.

The solution includes AgileAssets® Maintenance Manager™, an integrated maintenance management system that supports mobile-friendly fieldwork, including inventory tracking, work scheduling, work order management, and reporting.

Due to the flexibility of the AgileAssets solution, MnDOT was able to configure the TAMS to facilitate a more streamlined damage restitution process. Within the AgileAssets solution, MnDOT added fields to the work order screens so that supervisors can simply check a box if the work order is likely to be included in a damage restitution (DR) claim.

MnDOT added an additional field for supervisors to enter the accident claim number, allowing easy retrieval of the work order for the DR claim. In addition, a document attachment feature at the work order level enables the field crews performing the work to enter all the relevant supporting documentation, which the DR specialist can later retrieve to process the claim.

MnDOT staff now spends 1/3 the amount of time previously spent recording, compiling, and reporting a damage claim.


Consolidating data from various systems into the integrated AgileAssets solution provides MnDOT with many benefits.

Damage claims specialists now have visibility into all the work done on a claim, even when work records reside in different systems. In fact, team members can search for work orders and requests in multiple systems from a single window in the AgileAssets solution. Claims specialists can easily tie all work orders completed in their district or area of responsibility to submitted claims. Statewide damage claims managers can also readily identify duplicate claims because the relevant information is now available in one place.

Because of the ability to connect the TAMS to the finance department, MnDOT is now able to identify actual labor costs for damage repairs and receive restitution payments for 90% to 95% of those costs, resulting in a 30%-50% increase in payments in comparison to the previous process.

In addition, with an integrated solution, MnDOT no longer needs to maintain a separate system for claims processing. Eliminating stovepipe systems helps the agency cut costs while improving efficiency. MnDOT staff now spends 1/3 the amount of time previously spent recording, compiling, and reporting a damage claim.

One MnDOT district alone is now saving about 800 labor hours per year on claims processing—equivalent to about half the work of a full-time employee. The department can now reallocate those resources to focus on higher-priority projects.

No more manual manipulation of the same data three or four times! MnDOT staff can now manage all the data using a single database within the TAMS application.

– Tom Zimmerman, Planning Director – Transportation, MnDOT

Claims specialists are able to trace all work performed on an accident claim, view it in a single window within the AgileAssets solution, then compile a complete and detailed claim package for the finance department. Previously, the finance department may have needed to compile as many as four different submissions for the same claim. Now, claims specialists can efficiently compile the information before sending it to the finance team for billing.

Powered by AgileAssets, the TAMS helps MnDOT streamline the damage restitution process, saving time and money while helping to deliver safer, more reliable infrastructure.