Lack Of Awareness About The Benefits Of Drones Technology Could Be Impacting Development Of Insurance Sector

Lack Of Awareness About The Benefits Of Drones Technology Could Be Impacting Development Of Insurance Sector

A lack of awareness or willingness to explore the benefits of drone technology in insurance could be holding back the development of the sector, according to new research.

A survey of nearly 100 insurers and brokers across the UK, conducted by Research in Insurance in Evolution of Claims conjunction with Iprosurv, found that despite drone technology being identified as one of the top five pieces of technology insurance practitioners want to see used more, the majority of the market still doesn’t employ them.

When asked what kind of technology they would like to see used more in the industry, drones proved to be the fifth most popular behind automated claims processing, claims portals, greater use of videos and cameras, and the introduction of claims apps, out of a total of 20 choices.

Despite this appetite for adoption, of those surveyed, 60% of insurers and 89% of brokers said they weren’t currently using drones.

Lack Of Awareness

Nearly a third of insurers (32%) and 28% of brokers admitted that they just don’t understand the tech with 11% of insurers and 30% of brokers saying they don’t see a need.

However, it does seem that there is an appetite to use drones within organisations with 29% of insurers and 9% of brokers blaming a lack of appetite in the organisation for their absence. This is highest (30%) among those working at a support level of the business.

However, when asked if they would use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle, not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use them with only 6% of brokers ruling the idea out.

Nearly half of insurers (46%) and 35% of brokers said they definitely would use them but again, there appears to be resistance to drones at certain levels in some organisations with 54% of respondents saying they didn’t have the influence to introduce them to their business.

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

“It’s remarkable that drones can be one of the most eagerly anticipated pieces of technology in insurance, yet the majority of organisations aren’t currently using them,” said Rebecca Jones, CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv, one of the UK’s leading drone services providers.

“We know from working with a growing number of insurers, brokers and loss adjusters over the last seven years that drones significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to assess a claim and do so at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.

“The industry is telling us that this is exactly what they want, and these services are available from a number of organisations across the country, yet the industry as a whole just doesn’t seem to be able to properly explore the opportunities presented.”

Drones played a key role in many organisations’ ability to manage claims at the height of the pandemic with loss adjusters and insurers using drones to conduct remote assessments while their people were confined to their homes.

And the benefits of that approach appear in the research with 40% of insurers and 33% of brokers reporting a positive impact of adjusters employing remote technology to manage claims.

Tech in the Pandemic

Conversely, adjusters not embracing remote technology during the pandemic appears to have had an impact on service levels with nearly half of insurers (47%) and brokers alike (49%) saying they had seen a negative impact from adjusters not being able to get out during lockdown.

“Over the last seven years, we have seen more and more insurers, adjusters and now brokers switch on to what drones can do for their businesses and their clients and it appears that these early adopters continue to enjoy a competitive advantage.

“It is clear from the research that the appetite for increased drone use is there – it’s up to us and the rest of the commercial drone sector to keep showcasing what drones can do until the majority of the market is employing them to transform the way we manage claims.”

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv provides companies with the in-house capability of drone and data/media delivery services. Our CAMERA system and optimum drone operator platform provides bespoke services be that an on-demand, fully managed service to independent data/media delivery services.

Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology across a range of industries. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure way. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

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What next for drones and Iprosurv? Our clients will always guide us …

When we set up Iprosurv back in 2014, the number one priority was to convince the industry that drones in insurance were the future and that they had a huge role to play in claims and risk management. We believed that then just as much as we do today.

And as we come to the end of our sixth year, I find myself thinking (tentatively), that in the last year the market has finally had its eyes well and truly opened to the possibilities presented by tech and by extension, drones.

In those early days when Shane and I first set out, it was a hard slog convincing insurers and adjusters that there was a better, cheaper way for them to manage their claims using drones to conduct aerial surveys. But a brave few souls took the leap (you know who you are!) and when they did, their peers saw what was possible and more and more have turned to drones for the proven cost and time savings.

So much so, that drones are now a regular point of discussion in the claims and risk management community and they have recently become part of the general market discourse in the trade press.

We are nowhere near full adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles yet, but the momentum is there – it’s only a matter of time before every insurer and loss adjuster is using drones as standard. And I’m not shy to admit that this gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. To imagine a different way of doing things and then to see that actually take place … it’s something else.

But even though I was sure drones could make a big difference in insurance, I am still constantly surprised at the applications businesses find for them and the inspections our pilots undertake.

We always knew drones were perfect to assess the scale and impact of a major flood with their ability to get a bird’s eye view of a landscape. But we hadn’t considered that they could be used by farmers to assess crop damage by taking the colour temperature of their crops.

We hadn’t considered that a water supply firm would want to use drone mapping software to detect leaks in a water pipe rather than dig up the landscape in a time-consuming and expensive search.

We hadn’t considered that a security firm would ask us to survey the security measures at a port facility to help them identify weaknesses in that security.

And we hadn’t expected to be called in by the emergency services to provide crucial support in search and rescue operations.

But all of these instructions and more have come in this year – from statutory LOLER inspections to thermal renewables for hospital refurbishments to site surveillance in support of a criminal prosecution of fly-tippers. All of these have opened our minds to the huge array of potential applications for drone technology.

The interesting thing is, other than using different types of cameras (LIDAR, thermal, photogrammetry) and tailoring the pilot skill with the job, Iprosurv hasn’t actually moved far from our core offering – collecting, translating and delivering data to our clients in a fast, cost-effective and completely secure way.

What is different is the mindset of our clients and the profile of our new clients. It feels like we are well beyond the first hurdle of introducing drones to the commercial world and are now faced with a different challenge – managing the demand and adapting our skills to those new demands.

But the flexibility of drones actually makes that side of things quite straightforward – whatever the request, I can pretty much guarantee that we have a pilot and the equipment to meet it. Just last week we were instructed by an insurer on a business interruption claim and using our imagery and data, the insurer was able to save over £1m by instructing us for less than a thousand pounds. This case, coming in at the end of a hectic year, pretty much encapsulates what drones can do for the insurance industry.

So, where next for Iprosurv and drones after a momentously challenging and rewarding year? Based on what we expected compared to our experience today, I wouldn’t dare hazard a guess but what is certain that our ever curious and creative clients will continue to find more uses for drones and continue to surprise the Iprosurv team in the process.

Whether you are a current or a future client or just an interested observer, I hope you all manage to experience some kind of festive joy during a very different festive season and that when we all return after the break, we will see some light at the end of an often very dark tunnel.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture

Drones aren’t new technology by any means. Now, however, thanks to new software and better understanding by industries-it seems their time has now arrived.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—better known as drones—have been used commercially since the early 1980s. Today, however, practical applications for drones are expanding faster than ever in a variety of industries, thanks to robust investments and the relaxing of some regulations governing their use. Responding to the rapidly evolving technology, companies are creating new business and operating models for UAVs. 

The total addressable value of drone-powered solutions in all applicable industries is significant—more than $127 billion, according to a recent PwC analysis. Among the most promising areas is agriculture, where drones offer the potential for addressing several major challenges. With the world’s population projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, experts expect agricultural consumption to increase by nearly 70 percent over the same time period. In addition, extreme weather events are on the rise, creating additional obstacles to productivity.

Agricultural producers must embrace revolutionary strategies for producing food, increasing productivity, and making sustainability a priority. Drones are part of the solution, along with closer collaboration between governments, technology leaders, and industry.

Use Cases for Agricultural Drones

Drone technology will give the agriculture industry a high-technology makeover, with planning and strategy based on real-time data gathering and processing. PwC estimates the market for drone-powered solutions in agriculture at $32.4 billion. Following are six ways aerial and ground-based drones will be used throughout the crop cycle:

1. Soil and field analysis: Drones can be instrumental at the start of the crop cycle. They produce precise 3-D maps for early soil analysis, useful in planning seed planting patterns. After planting, drone-driven soil analysis provides data for irrigation and nitrogen-level management.

2. Planting: Startups have created drone-planting systems that achieve an uptake rate of 75 percent and decrease planting costs by 85 percent. These systems shoot pods with seeds and plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plant all the nutrients necessary to sustain life.

3. Crop spraying: Distance-measuring equipment—ultrasonic echoing and lasers such as those used in the light-detection and ranging, or LiDAR, method—enables a drone to adjust altitude as the topography and geography vary, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, drones can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. The result: increased efficiency with a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.

4. Crop monitoring: Vast fields and low efficiency in crop monitoring together create farming’s largest obstacle. Monitoring challenges are exacerbated by increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, which drive risk and field maintenance costs. Previously, satellite imagery offered the most advanced form of monitoring. But there were drawbacks. Images had to be ordered in advance, could be taken only once a day, and were imprecise. Further, services were extremely costly and the images’ quality typically suffered on certain days. Today, time-series animations can show the precise development of a crop and reveal production inefficiencies, enabling better crop management.

5. Irrigation: Drones with hyper-spectral, multi-spectral, or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, drones allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits.

6. Health assessment: It’s essential to assess crop health and spot bacterial or fungal infections on trees. By scanning a crop using both visible and near-infrared light, drone-carried devices can identify which plants reflect different amounts of green light and NIR light. This information can produce multispectral images that track changes in plants and indicate their health. A speedy response can save an entire orchard. In addition, as soon as a sickness is discovered, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more precisely. These two possibilities increase a plant’s ability to overcome disease. And in the case of crop failure, the farmer will be able to document losses more efficiently for insurance claims.

Credits PwC analysis

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Drone Registration Update

Registration

The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).

There will be two elements to the online system.

Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator.  The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.

Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.

Both of these requirements become law on 30 November 2019.

From 5 November 2019 the system will be available at Register-drones.caa.co.uk.

you can find more information on arrangements for approved operators and model flyers pus new exemptions at:

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Our-role/Drone-and-model-aircraft-registration/

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Action to detect, deter and disrupt the misuse of drones

The government will develop a new mobile counter-drone unit to be deployed to drone-related incidents and major events across the UK, as part of the government’s “Counter-Drone” Strategy launched by Security Minister Brandon Lewis today.

The world-leading strategy will ensure individuals, businesses and emergency services in the UK can continue to harness the economic and social benefits of drones, while cracking down on misuse and disruption.

It includes plans to drive forward the establishment of international design standards for manufacturers to enable safety features to be designed in from the start and make drones safe to use in the UK. This will happen with input from a new industry action group to encourage collaboration with government, drive progress and stay ahead of malicious drone users.

A new mobile counter-drone unit will be created, containing detection and disruption equipment, which can be deployed by police and other emergency responders to protect major events and rapidly respond to drone incidents across the UK.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“This government is proud of the UK’s burgeoning drone industry and we will do all that we can to ensure that the UK firmly establishes itself as a world leader in this industry”.

“But to ensure the drone industry can thrive in this country we must be able to crack down effectively on those who would use drones to cause harm or disruption”.

“There is no silver bullet to help protect our infrastructure and our citizens from malicious or careless drone use. That’s why this Strategy outlines a broad range of work to ensure we can effectively tackle the threat”.

The use of unmanned aircraft has grown significantly in recent years and the industry is expected to contribute an extra £42 billion to the UK economy by 2030, with more than 76,000 commercial and public sector drones expected to be in use by this date.

However, this also increases the risks of malicious use. Latest statistics show there were 168 police recorded drone incidents in England and Wales in 2018, and 165 drones were recovered at prisons in 2016 and 2017.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere said:

“Unmanned aircraft, including drones, could transform how we move people and goods, boost our economy and even save lives. Unfortunately, they can be, and have been, used recklessly at airports and in our skies”.

“The UK has been at the forefront in tackling the malicious use of unmanned aircraft. This strategy, alongside existing and planned legislation, will let us tap into the benefits of this technology while helping keep people safe both in the air and on the ground”.

The strategy also includes:

  • the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, which will give police increased powers to tackle illegal drone use
  • a new national standard for police recording of illegal drone activity to help build a picture of the drone threat
  • national guidance for police to assist them during malicious drone incidents
  • the government’s ongoing work with industry to research and test the latest counter drone equipment so that police across the country are able to respond to threats – building on the work already done across government
  • over the next 3 years, the government will work with partners to compile a catalogue of approved counter-drone technology to assure police and the owners and operators of critical national infrastructure sites that they are investing in the most effective and appropriate technology
  • a government communications campaign to educate the general public and continue to encourage safe drone use
  • Earlier this year it was announced that from 30 November 2019, every operator of a drone weighing more than 250g will need to register with the Civil Aviation Authority and all remote pilots will have to have passed an online competency test

Like many emerging technologies, drones play an ever more important role in business and there are currently more than 5,000 commercial users currently registered in the UK. They also provide an increasingly vital tool to assist the work of our emergency services.

This strategy is underpinned by the government’s desire to seize and develop the opportunities that the sector has to offer.

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The Times They Are a Changing

Over the last 5 years Iprosurv have been droning on about drones to various industries, insurance companies, loss adjusters and facilities management to name but a few. We can honestly say it has been a long hard road, there have been ups and downs, good times and bad times but we kept on going and going and going. In 2016 we recruited our first major client and continued to try and educate the market on the advantages of drone technology and the different outputs, So it was a great moment when in the Iprosurv inbox arrived a document “RICS insight paper” named “Drones: applications and compliance for surveyors” author Peter Kinghan MRICS. Reading this document, it became very apparent their had been a shift change in the thinking within the surveying market. Below are some excerpts from the article, the full article can be accessed here

Drones have a long history, but it is only relatively recently that their commercial potential has been recognised offering significant benefits and opportunities to businesses around the world.

UAVs have evolved beyond the ‘hype’ and are now starting to become operationally viable on an expanding commercial basis. Of course, UAVs are not just for surveyor use and can be used by numerous other professions and sectors, but we are part of a broad church and believe that this insight paper provides an opportunity to understand and appreciate the potential benefits of UAV use.

The development of disruptive technologies has changed the way we live and work throughout history: the steam engine, the automobile, the personal computer, more recently the smartphone – and now the drone.

Many industries have warmed to the potential that drones can bring. This is because these smaller aircraft platforms, operating at lower altitudes than satellites and manned aircraft, result in the democratisation of data and overcome the hurdles, such as cloud cover, faced by these more traditional platforms.

Despite fast-moving developments, drones are still in their infancy. As the technology develops the regulatory system is playing ‘catch-up’ and governments are grappling to regulate the practitioners, manufacturers and systems within the industry. There is also the ever-increasing need for simplicity as the different standardisation bodies become involved to ensure the technology is fit for purpose and will integrate seamlessly into daily life.

Unlike satellites drones are not, typically, on a fixed orbit and do not have the significant mobilisation requirements of manned aircraft. In addition, they have the capability for greater temporal data and far richer spatial resolution, particularly when data is required for a small area (see Figure 3). In terms of spatial coverage, satellites and manned aircraft will always have the advantage, but drones offer remote sensing that bridges the gap between the ‘boots on the ground’ and satellites or manned aircraft.

Drones are small, offer highly flexible use, are easy to handle and available at a comparatively low cost. In emergency situations, e.g. search and rescue, drones offer additional benefits in providing close to real-time information and a better understanding of the dynamics of the environment. Also, the lower costs and reduced time-frames ultimately mean improvements in site and asset management. Drone operators can also generally work around (or below) the weather restrictions, such as clouds, that limit other remote-sensing platforms.

As the industry continues to grow the ‘drones for good’ story needs to be highlighted to the public to ensure full appreciation of the benefits – not just to the surveying profession, but to society as a whole. Public buy-in will be essential if the drone industry is to reach its full potential. There is, however, an onus on commercial drone operators to act responsibly and ensure compliance with all regulations.

This insight paper also includes in-depth sections on:

  • a rapidly evolving national and international drone industry
  • opportunities and challenges for drone users
  • drone platforms and, even more importantly for surveyors, sensors (from optical to hyperspectral)
  • case studies
  • current and emerging regulatory and compliance issues, including national and international legislation and developing standards
  • factors to consider ahead of incorporating this cutting-edge technology into your business

The full paper “Drone applications and compliance for surveyors” can be ccessed here.

Acknowledgments to: Author Peter Kinghan MRICS Professional Group Lead James Kavanagh FRICS Publishing team Project manager: Ellie Scott Editor: Katie Pattullo

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New Drone Registration Laws

New drone laws being introduced on 30 November 2019 will require owners of drones weighing 250 grams or more to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and for drone pilots to take an online safety test to ensure the UK’s skies are safe from irresponsible flyers.

The changes are part of the future of mobility Grand Challenge, which was laid out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. Ensuring drones are being used safely will pave the way for the devices to play an increasingly important role in society.

Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, they already help inspect national infrastructure like our railways and power stations, and are even aiding disaster relief speeding up the delivery of blood. PwC has predicted the industry could be worth £42 billion in the UK by 2030.

The new laws are being made via an amendment to the Air Navigation Order 2016.Users who fail to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1,000.

There has been a significant increase in the number of commercial permissions issued by the CAA in the last year. The number of active commercial licences increased from 2,500 to 3,800 in 2017, a year on year growth of 52%.

A recently released PwC report highlighted that the uptake of drones could be worth up to £41.7 billion to the UK GDP by 2030.

The scheme will register operators rather than drones. Once registered the operator will receive a unique code that must be applied to all the drones they are responsible for. The entire process will be online.

Linked to registration is an online drone safety education and test package. This is also a legal requirement from the end of November for anyone flying a drone, whether or not they are a drone owner. There will be no charge for this.

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https://iprosurv.com/2022/01/04/lack-of-awareness-about-the-benefits-of-drones-technology-could-be-impacting-development-of-insurance-sector/Lack Of Awareness About The Benefits Of Drones Technology Could Be Impacting Development Of Insurance Sector

https://iprosurv.com/2020/12/17/what-next-for-drones-and-iprosurv-our-clients-will-always-guide-us/What next for drones and Iprosurv? Our clients will always guide us …

https://iprosurv.com/2020/01/02/drones-are-revolutionizing-agriculture/Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture

https://iprosurv.com/2019/10/22/drone-registration-update/Drone Registration Update

https://iprosurv.com/2019/10/22/action-to-detect-deter-and-disrupt-the-misuse-of-drones/Action to detect, deter and disrupt the misuse of drones

https://iprosurv.com/2019/10/09/the-times-they-are-a-changing/The Times They Are a Changing

https://iprosurv.com/2019/09/30/117/New Drone Registration Laws