Drones were largely unheard of among the masses until they were used extensively by the military. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, drones were used in stadiums for security purposes. Later, other major sporting events were covered via drones.
In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey disrupted lives in Houston, USA, insurance companies used drones to survey the affected areas and expedite the claims process. This made it clear that the benefits of drones were not limited to just military, sports, and media, but that it extended to the insurance sector as well.
What Are Commercial Drones?
Commercial Drones are lightweight units that are operated remotely. They are known for their quiet hovering ability enabled via efficient propulsion systems. Drones can be maneuvered in all directions easily and can record high-resolution visuals 24×7. These compact, unmanned, mini aircrafts utilize wireless connectivity for data transfer.
Drones are enablers. Just as computers help humans advance by leaps and bounds, drones too enable us to perform certain tasks in a more productive way. They have changed the way we perceive surveillance.
Benefits of Drones in Insurance
With negligible human involvement, drones can record high-quality videos and capture high-resolution images even in difficult-to-access locations and transfer data quickly. The following five points highlight the benefits of drones in insurance, especially in the claim process.
Natural disasters create havoc, uproot lives and destroy infrastructure. In such cases, it is difficult for insurance surveyors to reach the affected location. Drones can prove beneficial in such scenarios. Be it a hilly region or a flooded locality, drones can easily access such areas and aid surveillance.
Surveyors do not have to risk their lives to reach the affected areas. For example, drones can be used to survey a roof top of a house affected by a cyclone. Traditionally, someone would have to find a way to climb the roof top and then click pictures, which is a risky affair.
Drones result in better customer service by speeding up the claims process as the site can be reached quickly. In some situations, the surveyor does not even need to visit the area to operate the drones. These devices are easy to operate, visuals can also be recorded by someone who is not an expert in risk assessment and then send the visuals and data to the surveyor.
Less number of people can cover a wider area with the help of drones. There is no need to manually survey the area when it can be covered with a drone managed by a single person. Also, the recording and analyzing of the data is done in a streamlined manner. This results in efficient reporting.
Drones facilitate authentication and result in fraud mitigation. Locations are properly surveyed, chances of misrepresenting facts and creating fraudulent claims are negated. For example, drones fitted with high-precision cameras capture the real health of the agriculture field and ensure authentic valuation to determine crop insurance premium.
Road Ahead for Drones and Insurance
Privacy is a concern with respect to drones flying around in the neighborhood. Thus, regulator norms need to be looked into. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and integrated media are already gelling well with drones in one way or the other. Insurers will soon identify ways in which drones, along with the above-mentioned fields, can be leveraged in a customer friendly manner for optimized operations and better service.
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