2020 saw an increase of storms in more ways than just one. For hurricane season, a record-breaking 30 named storms hit the U.S. causing a flood of insurance claims, and as the 2021 season heads into the most active months, insurance agencies are bracing for another busy fall. However, with the right preparation plan and technology in place, assessing storm damage quickly and safely can be achieved this year — and every year after.
The strongest hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, creating extremely unsafe working conditions for claim adjusters. Flooding can make properties inaccessible, slowing the speed for claims and structural damage makes roof inspections nearly impossible without possible injury. Thankfully, drones have revolutionized the post-storm landscape for insurance agencies. Now, claims adjusters are able to prepare for inspection, fly a drone autonomously to collect data, and then have the data from the drone processed within minutes.
With the advancement of automated drone technology from companies such as Kespry, roof inspections due to storm damage are becoming more efficient, safer, and productive for claim adjusters.
Planning for hurricane season
For insurance agencies, planning is key when it comes to hurricane season. Understanding the needs of affected regions and where resources should be allocated is the first step to prepare for the volume of claims an agency will receive, typically from June through November.
It’s also important to create a plan on drone implementation so claims adjusters are prepared to use this technology to its potential. Making sure claims adjusters are confident in using drone platforms will increase the accuracy of inspections as well as cut the time needed at the job site — making sure no extra time is spent in potentially hazardous areas. Critical steps of this plan should include:
- Understanding drone imaging assessments
- FAA Part 107 licensing
- Courses on assessing data for insurance
- Mock onsite claim properties practice
Insurance and AI
Although autonomous drone flight will help gather and analyze critical data needed to better understand roof damage caused by hurricanes, just imaging alone is not enough. In addition, insurance agencies have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to help quickly identify possible roof damage. AI and ML can help drastically increase the rate of claims assessments by automatically identifying damage to roofs — eliminating the need for dangerous manual inspection and tagging. Speed is key during hurricane season, as customers need rapid action if they are displaced from their homes. AI and ML allow claims adjusters to quickly assess a roof for damage, enhancing the overall drone inspection experience for insurance agencies and customers.
As mentioned, hurricane storm damage poses a significant risk when inspectors need to climb on a roof to take photos or get a closer look. Unlike typical rain or hail damage, roofs can be severely impaired due to tree, wind, and airborne objects. With AI and ML, claims adjusters can easily analyze the precise location of roof damage from a safe — uncompromising location providing better data for the inspection with less risk involved. This technology allows insurance agencies to save money on liability and injury costs, creating a better, less stressful work environment for their agents.
Drone requirements for insurers
For national and local insurance agencies, drones offer industry-specific data reporting, analysis, and fully autonomous drone flights — making roof damage claims caused by hurricanes a more efficient end-to-end process. Drones used by insurance agencies reduce costs, decrease the time of claims, and eliminate the need for third-party service providers.
As the number of hurricanes is seemingly increasing each season, insurance agencies need solutions that prioritize an accelerated workflow. When implementing drone solutions, insurance professionals should look for the following:
- Easy-to-use mobile flight planning app
- Automatic data processing in the cloud
- Superior customer service from the drone provider
- Autonomous flight
In the end, a roof makes a home, and those affected by hurricane damage can’t afford to waste time rebuilding. Drone technology provides a solution that streamlines the claims process for insurance agencies — helping provide intelligent, innovative, and most importantly, safe assistance, faster to affected customers.
There are 3 months still left in the 2021 hurricane season, and there is still time to implement a drone program for your customers — while getting a head start on next year’s hurricane season. Insurance agencies across the U.S. are tackling storm season head-on with Kespry and our drone-based Aerial Intelligence platform. If you’d like to learn more please reach out to us for a demo here.