As part of DRONELIFE’s participation in the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week, DRONELIFE will feature stories according to the themes outlined. Today, we focus on the drone industry’s contribution to insurance and other business safety arenas.
In the insurance world, a culture of safety represents the difference between profits and bankruptcy for major companies.
It should come as no surprise that drone technology is helping insurers promote and analyze safety issues across the board – especially when it comes to post-disaster mitigation.
In January, State Farm received the first-ever national drone-flight waiver granted to a corporation by the FAA. The waiver will allow State Farm to fly drones over people and beyond visual line of sight through November 2022.
Last year, the FAA granted a similar – albeit temporary – waiver to deploy UAS in four states affected by Hurricane Florence, allowing the company to assess damage and provide faster claims processing for victims of the storm.
- 2018: New Jersey-based Everest Insurance partnered with drone-analytics provider Airware, allowing the insurer to optimize and expedite claims during hurricane season via aerial data investigation.
- 2017: Loveland Innovations, a developer of drone solutions for the property and casualty insurance industry, launched Drone Assist Complete, an on-demand tool that enhances roof-claims adjustment.
- 2016: Insurance giantsAllstate and Travelers deployed several drones over parts of South Carolina and Georgia in the wake of Hurricane Matthew to assess damage and to expedite claims more rapidly. Allstate’s quadcopters can capture 4K-resolution images and the company says this allows adjusters to zoom in for extreme detail on any individual shingle on a roof or a crack in a building. Travelers launched a UAV training program and deployed 60 FAA-certified adjusters to pilot drones that year alone. Currently, the company has more than 600 claims professionals who are also FAA-certified drone pilots.
The growth of the drone industry has also bolstered a new type of insurance for UAV pilots and is perhaps one of the fastest-growing new types of coverage in the industry.
Earlier this year, SkyWatch.AI Drone Insurance, a risk-assessment and InsurTech platform for the drone industry, announced a partnership with AUVSI, the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems. Through the partnership, drone pilots who complete AUVSI’s Trusted Operator Program (TOP) level 2 and 3, will be eligible for lower insurance rates with SkyWatch.AI based on their flight experience and professional education.
In 2017, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) announced a partnership with Harry A. Koch Insurers to market UAV insurance to the commercial drone community and pilots as a membership benefits at a reduced rate.
Earlier in 2017, Acend teamed up with Liberty Specialty Markets, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, to launch DroneInsurance.com, a platform that “makes buying drone insurance easy to understand and convenient to purchase online.”