From assessing post-disaster damages to increasing worker safety to fostering financial savings, leveraging drones in the insurance industry will yield tremendous benefits to both insurers and the insurance companies alike.
Drones, also referred to as unmanned aerial systems or pilotless flying robots, are no longer a novelty in the tech space. The concept of ‘autonomous systems,’ which was once a sci-fi fantasy, has now evolved to become a sophisticated real-world innovation and is impacting several industries. The bird’s eye view offered by drones enables businesses to capture detailed photographs and videos from the sky. This visual data, when analyzed and interpreted, helps businesses to gain intelligence that can then be used to make informed decisions. Though initially developed for military purposes, drones have showcased their novelty in other areas too. Drone applications range form helping the police in search and rescue operations, filming cinematic videos, monitoring traffic congestion all the way to performing delivery services. The number of drone applications, indeed, seems to be burgeoning over the past few decades.
You might be well aware of Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas in the year 2017. Drones were used to collect images to understand the devastating situation of the place. Apart from this, drones were also used by the insurance companies to inspect the post-disaster condition. Thus, along with the disaster-recovery procedure, drones can also be used by insurance companies for surveying and managing claim procedures. With high-quality images and videos of risky or dangerous locations, drones in the insurance industry can provide companies with numerous benefits. Let’s take a look at few compelling benefits of drones for the insurance companies:
Benefits of drones in the insurance industry Drones have come a long way, since their advent. Today, drones can do more than just capturing images and videos. Equipped with sensors and powered with AI, drones can now analyze a situation and respond suitably. Due to these capabilities, asset inspection has now become more efficient, less time-consuming, and less costly.
One of the most significant factors that make drones unique is high-quality content acquisition. Flying around any place or structure, drones can easily collect minute details of the location. Earlier, the asset inspection was undertaken manually. Humans were unable to obtain photographs or videos from all angles. Manual methods are, therefore, considered inefficient and inaccurate. On the other hand, insurance companies can leverage drones to collect comprehensive visual information on anything that is insured.
Disasters could not only pose a severe threat to people’s lives but also have a devastating impact on property and infrastructure. It is difficult for emergency responders to visit every affected area to collect the necessary information. Sometimes, reaching the affected place is in itself a risky job. For instance, imagine a cyclone has hit a house. The insurance inspectors have to check the roof of the house before initiating the claim procedure. Climbing up the rooftop to physically assess and take photographs is actually easier said than done. Besides, it’s hazardous. Drones could handle this scenario with ease. Without human involvement, drones can reach the rooftop, click pictures, analyze and process the content, and aid the assessment process.
Providing inaccurate information intentionally to gain insurance benefits is a common concern that the insurance companies face. Either the insurer or the provider can commit this illegal activity. However, with drones coming into the picture, the chances of such fraudulent activities are eliminated. Drones can collect and store the data on the cloud. Every department in the insurance company can view, monitor, and inspect the details, leaving no room for tampering and illicit activities.
Drones can take up humans’ job of visiting different places for asset inspection. Pictures can be clicked and sent on the spot which can significantly expedite the claim process. Initially, when only humans were involved in this process, this wasn’t actually possible. Drones can actually help insurance companies to save a tremendous amount of time and money by eliminating humans from the inspection process. In fact, insurance companies that use drones get the information they need 10 times faster than those relying on traditional methods.
With drones taking up the inspection and assessment process, human involvement will go out of the picture. As a result, the claim process will be automatically expedited. Accelerated claim processing will make customers happy. Faster services will help insurance companies build loyal relationships, enabling them to gain a competitive advantage. With reduced turnaround time on claims, insurance companies will improve the experience of the concerned. As a result, there is no need for companies to worry about losing their clients to competitors.
When we hear ‘automation’, the first thing that comes to our mind is efficiency and accuracy. Similar is the case with drones. It is proven that drone-led inspection, in the oil and gas industry, offers 85 percent faster results when compared to traditional methods. Using drones for monitoring and inspecting operations can help insurance companies to achieve efficiency goals.
Prices of drones have comparatively lowered down now. As a result, insurance companies can come up with innovative ideas to make the most out of this technology.
Large machinery run around the clock on a daily basis in a manufacturing unit. Technical errors in the equipment can cause mechanical failures. And breakdowns, if they occur, can cause companies a substantial financial burden. Hence, manufacturing companies opt for equipment breakdown insurance. Here, on identifying that the collapse was due to some technical glitch, the insurance company will have to pay compensation for equipment repair, infrastructure damage, and also spoiled or damaged inventory.
Cases like these need special attention and should be monitored closely when a manufacturer claims for insurance coverage. Insurance surveyors, in such a scenario, are expected to monitor and collect every detail about the machinery. It can be risky as well as time-intensive affair. Drones, on the other hand, can fly around the outlet, zoom in on damaged places, and send all images to the team. While all this happen, the team can simultaneously carry out the rest of the claim procedure.
Insurance companies can send off drones to collect images and videos of disaster-prone places. The data can be sent to the cloud, where further analysis takes place. The data analytics tool will process the data for providing residents with accurate information on imminent risks. In collaboration with the government, the insurance companies can help residents to take proactive remedial measures. This will help in reducing losses to a more considerable extent.
From helping insurers with preventive measures to aiding the insurance companies in assessing affected places, drones can indeed be beneficial to the industry in every possible way. With drones able to quickly gather high-quality content and companies managing claim procedures speedily, insurance companies will never fear any business risks as well as never witness annoyed clients.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.