New England Insurance Agent Blog

Drones are a game changer for catastrophic claims
/ Categories: Trends

Drones are a game changer for catastrophic claims

Hurricane Harvey is the the largest deployment of insurance drones since the Federal Aviation Administration restrictions were eased last year. See Claims Journal's report, Fewer Ladders, More Drones Being Used to Adjust Harvey Claims. Here's what one of our partner insurers is doing:

Travelers Insurance, based in Hartford, had 65 certified drone pilots as of Friday among the 600 employees deployed to the Houston area. Claims specialist Laura Shell, who will be in Texas this week, spent last week at the company’s training center in Windsor, Connecticut, learning how to pilot drones.

“This is great,” said Shell, 55, of Lexington, Virginia, whose job typically has involves climbing a lot of ladders. “It’s going to allow me to get a look into areas that aren’t easily accessible and onto roofs and do it quickly.”

Drones cut the time typically involved in external damage assessment - they can take measurements and produce high definition photos and videos. They also reduce the risk for claims adjusters. However there are some limitations - they can't be used in all weather conditions and they can't do in-house inspections.

Another of our partner insurers, American Modern, talks about how technology gains over the years have improved catastrophe claims response. Manager of the company's field technical unit Jason Beal reflects on how things have changed since he started his career 30 years ago, armed with a note pad and a Polaroid camera.

"According to Beal, the tools adjusters are now equipped with include laser tape measures, laptops, automated estimating systems pre-loaded with necessary data for the storm damage being adjusted and smartphones which act as a GPS recorder and a camera.

Automated estimating systems, drones, the internet, cell phones and storm tracking technology offer some examples of technology that has impacted the claims adjustment process."

For more detail on just how these new technologies work, see Drones, New Intelligence Platforms Offer Carriers Highly-Accurate Alternative to Manual Roof Measurements and the brief claims demo from Cognizant in the following video.

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