The application of drones in the insurance industry is not nearly as flashy as their use in blockbuster movie productions or delivering beer to ice-fishermen, but industry experts believe that the idea of using drones to inspect damage is as feasible as it is practical.
Its no secret that, in case of a natural disaster, property adjusters take months to evaluate and adjust each claim. However, by using a drone, damages can be estimated within hours of the occurrence of the disaster, and claims can be settled in days without having to do much paper work. Proponents of the tech believe that it will not only reduce the cost for the insurance companies, but also for the insured.
Jason Wolf, property defense attorney and shareholder Koch Parafinczuk & Wolf, told the Insurance Journal early this month he believes drones can make the entire claim/settlement process significantly easier. Said Wolf:
I envision a time when, after a catastrophe, an adjuster pulls up to a neighborhood and opens the trunk of his car and presses a few buttons on his tablet device and the drone does an immediate survey of everything and streams it all right to his tablet device, and he knows exactly where to go first and what’s most significant…within minutes. Costing very little money, the insurance company has a sense of everything that needs to be done in a very short amount of time.
While drones have potential all of the business world, the tech also poses a considerable legal and privacy issues. Until these issues are sorted out, commercial use of the equipment will remain virtually forbidden. Many industry professionals, including Wolf, deny the privacy concerns in the insurance space by comparing drone surveys to those conducted by commercial aircrafts and helicopters.
The much-awaited first step towards the business use of smaller unmanned aircrafts was the road map outlined by the FAA. It addressed the present and future legal policies, which may open the US airspace for UAS operations.
In the past few years, automation has replaced many workforces, especially in the field of IT and automobile and it seems inevitable that drones will further this automation. How do you feel about a drone coming near your house to evaluate the damages? Do you think it is viable? Participate in the discussion and leave a comment below!
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com