Drones Taking off in the Claims Process?

Drones Taking off in the Claims Process?

At a glance

  • The use of drones in commercial business is increasing
  • Whilst there are numerous risks and safety concerns associated with the use of drones, they do allow for a more efficient way for businesses to survey
  • We take a look at how drones could be used during a claims process, and the benefits they could bring to the insurance industry.

The use of drones in commercial businesses is increasing, as the number of commercial operators with a license to fly drones in the UK has risen from five in 2010 to over 4,500 in 2018.

Whilst there are numerous risks and safety concerns associated with the use of drones, not least the high profile case of drones grounding flights at Gatwick, in 2018 the speed, cost and sustainability of doing so can allow for a more efficient way for businesses to survey both vast areas and hard to reach places.

We take a look at how drones could be used during a claims process, and the benefits they could bring to the insurance industry.

Surveying a damaged area

A key use of drones is their ability to survey a large area in a short time. In cases of severe damage, for example a large scale fire at a warehouse or building, or damage from extreme weather events and natural disasters, drones are able to scan the area quickly in order to determine the damage caused. Recently, drones have been able to capture images of the damage caused by wildfires in California and across parts of Australia.

In addition, another common use of drones would be to inspect damaged roofs or tall buildings, areas which would be difficult, and costly, for individuals to reach. In doing this, images of damaged areas can be accessed quicker by an insurer, meaning progress of a claim can be much quicker.

While the ability to identify large-scale damage is one benefit of using drones, it is also in cases where damage is known to exist but in places humans can’t access easily, for example equipment breakdown such as boilers that drones also have benefits. With some equipment often being located in tight places, drones can be called upon to access and survey any potential damage that may occur, or may have occurred.

Helping with inspections

Similarly to surveying a damaged area, drones can also be used in the safety inspection of a number of ways. Inspecting roofs, buildings or large areas such as crops and hard to reach equipment are just a small number of ways that drones can provide benefits to insurers before any loss has occurred.

An advantage to being able to take so many high-quality pictures of an area at once for insurers is clear – not only will it reduce the time it takes for images to be taken, but it also presents significantly less risk than if an employed surveyor attempted to take them.

An added benefit of being able to take so many images of an area during inspection, is being able to revisit those pictures when a claim is made, especially in cases of suspected fraud. For example, being able to look back at a picture of a roof that has been claimed to have been damaged in strong winds, can help detect and deter fraudulent claims if there was already damage to a particular area.

As well as reducing cost and risk for an insurer, and in an age of speed and autonomy, being able to access images of damaged areas quickly through use of a drone can lead to claims being processed faster – leading to increased customer satisfaction.

The use of drones in insurance is increasing and there has been a shift in how companies are using technology to improve their processes. As mentioned in Insurance Journal, ‘the last two years suggests that drones and aerial-imagery will soon become commonplace after catastrophes, as well as in other areas for the insurance industry’.

Whilst the benefits of using drones in the insurance industry are clear to see, there are a number of issues that will need to be resolved before their use becomes mainstream. Regulations around their use, including how big they can be, the speed they can fly and the altitudes they can go, continue to be stumbling blocks, as well as the certification and training required to be able to use one proficiently. Cost is another issue, as high quality equipment is likely to cost siginificant money, and that is before the additional outlays on staff training, qualifications and transportation.

The benefits and risks of using drones for businesses are clear, and as mentioned previously there are a number of considerations business need to make in order for them to become commonplace.

Within the claims process, drones can provide insurers with a tool to settle claims quickly and to reduce risk for claims inspectors, meaning it is surely only a matter of time until their use becomes customary.

Article by: Paul Redington Regional Major Loss Manager at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

Posted in General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Insurance Companies Continue to Embrace Drone Technology…But we have so much more to offer!

The insurance industry is continuing to embrace drone technology, but commercial drone operators such as Iprosurv still have so much more to offer our clients and continue to assist and educate our clients on the  benefits of drones, including better safety, efficiency, faster turnaround time, and reduced costs. Goldman Sachs estimates the global drone industry to reach $100 billion by 2020. Given that insurers today are struggling with an increasing amount of damage from natural disasters and fraud, plenty of insurance companies are aspiring to be data-driven organizations. PwC reported that drone technology could help the insurance industry save as much as 6.8 billion USD annually. 

Insurance companies are already turning to commercial drone companies. Drones can play a part in all the stages of the insurance lifecycle, especially claims management and fraud prevention. Drone powered solutions also help with real-time insights, risk monitoring, and assessment, as well as improving customer experience during claims and surge events.

Risk Assessment

Drones can be used to gather data before a risk is insured, to help in preventative maintenance, and to assess damage after an event. They also allow insurers to engage a generalist, rather than a specialist, to perform field assessments and obtain high-quality visuals. The insurer can achieve significant cost savings through improved efficiency, generating the ROI for investing in drones. Insurers are increasingly using drones for property assessments. Used in the Risk environment drones can help policy holder and insurer formulate a maintenance program over the term of the policy or prior to insurance inception.

Accelerate Claim Management

Insurance companies can assess damage quicker and more efficiently with drone operations by eliminating the need for multiple site visits. For example, a drone can help a claims adjuster process three houses in an hour, whereas without one, an adjuster could process only about three houses in a day (Farmers Insurance). Drones can increase inspection efficiency by up to 85%.

Data Touch Points

When a claim occurs, it can involve multiple stakeholders, Loss Adjusters, Insurers, Forensics, Structural Engineers, Emergency Services, Local Authorities each one requiring instant visual data to make key decisions in the progression of the claim or incident, large amounts of data can be obtained by the use of drone technology, but the use cases don’t stop there, through the use of advanced analytics and software’s stakeholders can receive the data in multiple use formats from basic photogrammetry, 3D modelling, BIMM models. Each stakeholder may use the same data set in a different way dependent on the information they require.

Fraud Reduction

Drones can particularly play a significant role while settling agricultural insurances, as they assess the actual yield and cultivable land. A drone can gather data on 500 to 1,000 acres in less than a day, thereby reducing the time it takes to settle claims- from days to hours. Using drones, Drones have been able to survey three times as many acres as an adjuster on foot and efficiently account for all of a customer’s crop damage.

Improving Customer Experience During Catastrophes

Inclement weather and challenging to reach locations, make it cumbersome for insurers to reach, which eventually results in delay and failure to resolve a large number of claims in a given time. Storms and floods make up large percentage of insured losses. As seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, 300 high-rise buildings were inspected by GFA Generali insurance using drones. The process took just ten days, whereas a ground crew of the same size would have taken several months.

Employee Safety

When appraising property claims, claim adjusters typically encounter hazardous situations. Drone-mapping is a safer inspection method. Companies like Iprosurv are making drone roof inspection more efficient and safer by reducing their exposure to accidents and hazardous conditions. With the implementation of Iprosurvs Major Loss package insurers, loss adjusters, forensics, structural engineers and local authorities to name but a few can have access to vital data to asses interim payments and scope of works all this can be done without attending the initial site visit when the structure is deemed unsafe to enter or the site is under a strict health and safety cordon due to the possibility of collapse or injury to personel.

Bespoke Online Portal.

 Utilizing state of the art software and technology we are able to deliver large amounts of data in user friendly interfaces. With the addition of Iprosurv bespoke portal we are able to deliver large amounts of data in a safe compliant environment with multiple stakeholders. The system is setup to be an end to end system for our clients with multiple touchpoints built in.

If you would like to know more about Iprosurv please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by visiting our website at www.iprosurv.com.

Posted in General Interest, Information

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https://iprosurv.com/2020/01/28/drones-taking-off-in-the-claims-process/Drones Taking off in the Claims Process?

https://iprosurv.com/2019/12/09/insurance-companies-continue-to-embrace-drone-technology-but-we-have-so-much-more-to-offer/Insurance Companies Continue to Embrace Drone Technology…But we have so much more to offer!