Problem: Damage assessment for insurance purposes after natural disasters is a dangerous and time-consuming – yet urgent – job.
Proposed Solution: Microdrones unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) allow insurance surveyors to assess damage much more safely, quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively. This helps speed up the process so victims can receive the compensation they need faster.
In 2015, four U.S. insurance companies received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test Microdrones UAVs for surveying damages caused by flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
This was before the passage of part 107, so businesses that wanted to use drones commercially were required to go through the long, arduous process of obtaining an exemption. This often took more than half a year for approval.
In the wake of hurricanes across the Eastern United States, we are happy to report two developments:
- The insurance companies are finding the use of UAVs to be beneficial for damage assessment, thus helping to facilitate more rapid disbursement of badly needed compensation for those effected.
- The recent passage of part 107 by the FAA will make it much simpler for insurance companies and other businesses to begin using drones for commercial purposes.
The Benefits of Using Drones for Insurance Purposes
The use of Microdrones aircraft in the insurance sector has shown many advantages. A few are below:
Surveyors commissioned by insurance companies to take photos of damage must often brave dangerous conditions. It is not uncommon for a job to require surveyors to take pictures while climbing ladders, walking on rooftops, and battling their way through deep waters, debris, and burned-out or otherwise destroyed buildings.Using a UAV is a much safer approach. The aircraft can fly over inaccessible damaged areas and gather high-resolution images and video that usually provide more detailed information about properties, structures, and claims events than traditional methods would – all while the pilot is safe on the ground.
With the use of a drone, the pilot/surveyor can avoid the time-consuming task of accessing damaged property on foot. They can also collect a vast amount of data from a large survey area in far less time than they could without a drone. Using a UAV, the surveyor can fly over and collect detailed photo and video of entire neighborhoods and areas. Because of this, they are able to complete the job in a fraction of the time.
To give you an idea of the efficiency, our md4-1000 aircraft can stay in the air for about 45 minutes with a heavier payload. In that time, it can cover 60 hectares, or 148 acres. The possible time savings on the job is dramatic – and important. Faster damage assessment can help victims receive the funds they need more quickly.
- Cost savings and profitability.
Because the damage assessment process is drastically shortened, it is more cost-effective for insurance companies. The Microdrones UAV and payload will pay for itself over time, while allowing the company to perform better. Higher customer satisfaction rates will likely produce better customer retention rates, more referrals, and increased business.
- Data quality.
Surveyors are able to obtain more detailed, comprehensive, and robust data using a Microdrones UAV than they would normally be able to attain on foot. Specially developed motors and other key design features give Microdrones aircraft the power to carry heavier payloads for longer periods of time, so they can be equipped with high-definition cameras. Advanced technology ensures incredible stability in flight to achieve the highest levels of accuracy. Microdrones mdCockpit software makes it simple to plan and automate flight paths and analyze missions.
- Better performance in poor weather conditions.
Microdrones aircraft are a particularly good choice for the insurance industry because damage assessors are often dispatched during the typically poor conditions directly following a severe weather event. Microdrones UAVs were designed to stand up to harsh environmental conditions– rain, wind, snow, sand, salt, humidity, and extreme temperatures are no match for Microdrones aircraft. Microdrones uses a unique molding process that protects the aircraft’s electronics and wiring. The UAVs’ carbon fiber body further protects it from the elements.
- Inspection capabilities.
With the addition of our +i accessory package, Microdrones UAVs can accomplish something traditional manned aircraft cannot: they can collect images of structures from various angles that can then be used to construct three-dimensional models. The +i add-on includes a brushless gimbal and a live video feed, making inspections easy to accomplish.
Part 107 Makes Drone Use Easier for Insurance Companies
Now that part 107 has been passed, loosening commercial UAV restrictions, we expect many more insurance companies to begin using drones for damage assessment – not only after natural disasters, but for any project requiring the collection of information from inaccessible or dangerous locations.
We’re proud to provide technology that plays a role in helping victims of natural disasters to recover and workers to stay safe. From tsunami detection to water rescue to protecting baby deer, Microdrones UAVs are making the world a better place.