In an effort to learn more about how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can improve the property claims process, Allstate Insurance Co. is joining the recently formed group Property Drone Consortium.
EagleView Technology Corp., which will lead the consortium, invited Allstate and several other companies, including commercial roofing groups, shingle manufacturers, and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, to join.
Allstate explains that drones used for property insurance can potentially create much faster inspections of homes both for underwriting and claims adjustment. Ultimately, drones used in the claims process could provide faster payments to customers, especially in an area where widespread damage occurs quickly.
In the event of a catastrophe, for example, where physical access to a neighborhood might be restricted by local authorities, a UAV could potentially help claims professionals serve customers in spite of those restrictions. Ongoing weather could also affect physical inspections of property where a drone might be able to work without any delay, adds Allstate.
Allstate explains that it has previously tested the use of UAVs to obtain information about battery life and picture resolution. However, the company says, the consortium promises a much wider scope of research and a larger, dedicated budget to enable it to find software and hardware solutions and gain regulatory approvals.
In addition to research and development, Allstate expects to work with the consortium to gain regulatory approval for the use of drones in the insurance and construction industries, as well as refine the way data is collected for property conditions and damage assessments.