Drones are without a doubt one of the most pioneering innovations of the 21st century. Perhaps considered by many as the latest must-have gadget, these machines actually have an incredible array of uses outside of general leisure and the stunning TV aerial photography we now take for granted.
Did you know for example that drones are being used by police accident investigation teams to discover the cause of road collisions? That drones kitted out with thermal imaging cameras are being employed to identify faults causing delays to trains? And that when a group of swimmers recently found themselves carried out to sea by an undertow in Spain, a Lifeguard Drone was deployed and quickly flew in to drop life jackets to keep everyone above water until the coastguard could reach them?
Drones – sweeping changes in so many areas of our lives
We’ve all read about how the likes of Amazon are trialling drones as automated couriers, which could change the face of ecommerce in a huge way. EasyJet uses drones to carry out aircraft safety inspections, and the agricultural industry has started to rely on them to monitor and manage crops and livestock. These machines really do seem to be making sweeping and advantageous changes in so many areas of our lives.
Originally developed for military and government use, drones, known technically as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ or UAVs, are in effect aircraft without a human pilot. Combined with a ground-based controller and a communication system that keeps the two in touch, this is truly a very powerful invention with exceptional potential.
Granted there are some issues that need to be ironed out, and the new laws recently introduced to keep the machines within safe distance of airport boundaries are a start. But it is safe to say that drones are changing many everyday processes, including in the insurance industry.
Drones in the insurance industry
Drones have the ability to take high resolution photographs and make aerial surveys. They can provide insurers with in-depth and highly useful information on the condition of a building.
Drones are being used across the insurance industry to improve the detail, accuracy and efficiency of building inspections. Let’s delve deeper and find out how drones are proving beneficial to insurance inspectors.
Health and Safety
Buildings that have been damaged by flood or fire, or that have partially collapsed, are often not safe for human inspection. For insurance purposes of course, an inspection is vital. Step in drones. Now building surveys can be conducted without risk to human safety.
Greater Detail and Accuracy
Not only do drone surveys take away health and safety risks, they also reduce the time required to conduct inspections which is especially beneficial for larger, more complex premises. Using drones, insurance inspectors can capture data that would usually be incredibly difficult, if not impossible to gather, such as close-ups and granular detail of damage.
In addition, drones can be used alongside thermal imaging equipment to uncover water damage, and with 3D laser imaging to reveal detailed building models that show movement following a flood. As a result, damage assessments are far more accurate and detailed, which is highly beneficial for the claimant.
Drones can complete assessments around ten times faster than a human inspector. For the claimant, faster inspections mean reduced claims processing times, especially helpful following major incidents such as floods that involve multiple claims.
Drones – Useful Links
Drones really have had a massive impact in so many aspects of day to day life, some of which we may not even be totally aware of. If you own a drone, or are thinking of buying one, you’ll need to make yourself fully aware of the laws surrounding them so that you use it legally and responsibly. Have a read of the Drone Safe website, and the government advice on drones to familiarise yourself with the rules.
If you have a drone that you’d like to insure, we can provide you with access to suitable cover schemes. Please ask us for details.