Insurance is generally a long-game industry. We look back at historical data to write policies for risks that could crop up in the future. In the past it was humans collecting that data, but nowadays more and more machines are starting to take the reins.
Drone technology is able to provide such a holistic view of the world that it’s “answering questions we never knew we had.” It’s making “everyone’s lives better,” including those of insurance professionals, according to Jono Millin, Co-Founder of DroneDeploy - a drone mapping software start-up with the largest drone data platform in the world.
“Modern drone technology creates rich, three-dimensional, digital snapshots of the world at any point in time. It captures and stores a complete picture, often gathering data we may not have even realised we needed,” Millin told Insurance Business. “The data a drone can capture goes well beyond what a claims adjuster or underwriter might have manually captured in the past.
“This is particularly useful when it comes to ‘now versus then’ comparisons with historical data – something the insurance industry practices a lot. Something that might be a big problem today may have been manifesting for years, and having accurate and holistic historical drone data that can fully illustrate those comparisons is extremely valuable.”
The ability of drones to capture massive amounts of data quickly and efficiently is beneficial in all aspects of the insurance transaction, according to Millin. Claims adjusters can use the flying technology to automatically generate loss reports without placing human workers in potentially dangerous scenarios. There are also opportunities for underwriters to use drones to generate a richer understanding of a current state of an area or item, and therefore provide more accurate coverage and pricing solutions.
Insurance companies can even use drones to help prevent losses before natural catastrophes or extreme weather events. They can be used to inspect properties in potentially vulnerable areas, identifying risks, and highlighting solutions on how to mitigate those risks.
“Drones have this ability to zoom into a point and scrutinise an individual nail, but also then zoom out really quickly to capture data from an entire site. It’s almost like a super power that lets you investigate everything incredibly quickly,” Millin added.
“It’s another tool in the toolbelt for insurance professionals. Manpower will always be needed, but drones are taking out the dull, the dirty and the dangerous. By using technology in this way, we can enrich everyone’s lives and allow insurance professionals to focus on things that are even more important to the consumer.”