In an effort to learn more about how unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones, can improve the property claims process, Allstate Insurance Company will join a consortium dedicated to the research and development of drones.
Drones used for property insurance can potentially create much faster inspections of homes both for underwriting and claims adjustment. Ultimately, drones used in the claims process could provide faster payments to customers, especially in an area where widespread damage occurs quickly.
In the event of a catastrophe, for example, where physical access to a neighborhood might be restricted by local authorities, a drone could potentially help claims professionals serve customers in spite of those restrictions. Ongoing weather could also affect physical inspections of property where a drone might be able to work without any delay.
“We still have a lot of work to do before introducing drones into our property claims service, but the potential for their use could change the industry in a big way,” says Allstate’s Claims Vice President Shawn Broadfield. “Continuing this research puts us on the leading edge of product and service innovation in our industry and beyond.”
Allstate and several other companies, including commercial roofing groups, shingle manufacturers and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), were invited to join a property drone consortium by EagleView Technology Corporation, a technology provider of aerial imagery, data analytics and geographic information system solutions. EagleView will lead the group with a focus on property drone research and development.
In addition to research and development, the company expects to work with the consortium to gain regulatory approval for the use of drones in the insurance and construction industries as well as refine the way data is collected for property conditions and damage assessments.
Allstate has previously tested the use of drones to obtain information about battery life and picture resolution but the consortium promises a much wider scope of research with a larger, dedicated budget to enable it to find software and hardware solutions and gain regulatory approvals.
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