Insurance industry and drones: What you can expect
Insurance and technology tend to go hand in hand. People use cameras and even their phones to take photos of damage done to homes and vehicles. They hop on the Internet to find the best-priced insurance and to ask questions to their agents through email. It is no wonder that some insurance companies are now starting to think about using more tech tools, such as drones, as means to evaluate certain types of claims.
It is important to understand that right now, it is illegal to use drones for commercial purposes unless you have an exemption granted by the Secretary of Transportation. This means that some companies are able to use drones commercially. However, the number of exemptions granted so far is actually quite small – still well under 200 since 2012. One of the companies that have received an exemption turns out to be an insurance company – USAA.
Insurance and Drones
USAA has been interested in drones even before they became a part of the mainstream public. They started investigating and working in the field in 2010 and have been pushing to use the technology since. They recently used drone technology, along with Texas A&M University’s Robotics Without Borders to survey the aftermath of a mudslide in Oso, Washington. Even before they received their exemptions, they were testing the technology.
USAA is a pioneer in this regards, and you can be sure that more and more insurance companies will start adopting this type of technology and filing for exemptions. New rules may eventually allow for commercial use of drones in certain instances without needing to file for exemptions, although this could still be far into the future.
Companies will be able to use the drones to survey disasters, large-scale accidents, and more. Being able to use drones will offer many benefits. Consider the fact that some natural disasters keep homeowners, business owners, and insurance adjusters out of the area for days or weeks. Insurance companies can’t survey the damage, and they can’t help their clients in instances when they need it the most. Using a drone could make it much faster and easier to get the data they need. In addition, it is far safer for the insurance companies to use a drone as they will not have to go into a dangerous area.
How Do People Feel About Drones in the Skies?
You will find that the public has a divided opinion when it comes to drones as a whole. They worry that drones could be used to invade their privacy, and they worry about safety issues with the machines. These are natural concerns, but the regulations and rules in place should help alleviate those worries. Of course, as the usage of drones increases, especially in commercial use, there will need to be additional rules in place. For example, you will need to have rules stating where and when you can fly, and how long you are allowed to keep images. Once people see that drones are likely here to stay and that they can have far more benefits than drawbacks, more people will come to accept them.
Insurance companies should start thinking about drones and how they could ultimately help their business. While the insurance adjusters may not need to go out and start learning how to fly drones right now, it is certainly something well worth watching for the future. Insurance companies that hope to thrive should always stay on the cutting edge of technology. It is better for their customers, which means it is better for their business.
Please contact us today if you have any concerns or ideas about using drones for your claims. Avante Insurance is always standing by.