Drone Technology and Insurance

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Drone Technology and Insurance
Alexander and Caesar were tremendously talented and ruthless conquerors, waging war against much of the world and taking over vast expanses of land as part of their respective empires. However, most historians agree: For as large and brutal as their armies were, they wouldn't last a single day up against today's modern technology. Technology such as drones has changed the landscape. And if you think drones are only buzzing around the battlefield, think again. Drone technology is actually being used in insurance. Okay, so maybe they're not the same missile-firing kind of artillery drones, but insurance drones are still very technologically advanced and will undoubtedly change the landscape of insurance. 

Imagine that something like Katrina happened today. Widespread destruction amidst homes and communities. Incalculable property damage. Some serious stuff that truly does look like a war-torn nation. In the past—and even to date, in many instances—it's the job of insurance appraisers and adjusters to view the damage firsthand and to evaluate and calculate claims. This is not only time-consuming and expensive, it's also dangerous. Just look at how often riots and Malay break out after such a widespread event. It's not exactly a welcoming environment for any live person, much less an insurance employee. With a drone, the damage can be viewed and assessed remotely, leaving real agents out of harm's way. 

What Insurance Drones Can Mean for a Business

While the idea of insurance drones sounds like a great idea, given what we know about disasters and danger after so much trial and error in the real world, the use of these devices is still heavily regulated. Privacy concerns, stubborn politicians, not enough palms greased – whatever you think may be holding it up, it's probably that and then some. But in terms of assessing the breadth of damage properly to accurately keep tabs on property/casualty insurance claims, drones will be a vital part of all insurance operations, and it won't be long until all insurers find this out.

It doesn't even have to be a disaster area either. Let's say an adjuster or insurance risk engineer needs to assess the details of a building. Now, beyond what this person's eyes can see and his or her expertise, you also need inspectors and those intimately familiar with the layout of the building. A drone, on the other hand, can fly through elevator shafts, through air ducts, through tight spaces, etc. The use of drone technology can lead to faster, more accurate results for all insurance companies. Plus, the biggest benefit: They're not putting people in the line of fire, either figuratively or literally.

According to a prediction from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, drones will provide more than 100,000 new jobs and $82 billion in new revenue in the next ten years. Of course, seeing as the insurance industry is one of the most regulated industries in human history, their widespread use will depend entirely on the government willingly allowing drones to be used. 

Today, they're allowed in very limited fashion, with many people still voicing privacy concerns. But it won't be long until every big insurance company has a drone flying around to assess the situation rather than having live agents out in the field. While it might seem like people are just being replaced, it's more like people are being protected. Remember, the drones still require people to operate them, and the data collected still needs people to view it. If anything, drones may add new jobs to the industry, not take them away. 
Comments
Daniel Parks 14 September 2018, 2:19 AM

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Mia Spina 6 September 2018, 12:50 PM

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Derrick Hobs 13 May 2015, 5:37 PM

This is so true. Petty soon we will be selling insurance for drones.

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