The agency granted an exemption to the Property Drone Consortium, of which Allstate is a member. The approval paves the way for the collection and processing of intelligent images for research using drones, which can help expedite the assessment of exterior property, such as roof damage. The consortium also plans to continue its research on safety, including collision avoidance, visual line-of-sight operations and automated flight planning.
In the event of a catastrophe, Allstate explains, physical access to a neighborhood might be restricted by local authorities or by debris. In this situation, a drone could potentially help claims professionals serve customers in spite of those restrictions. Ongoing weather could also affect physical inspections of property, but a drone might be able to work without any delay.
The use of drones provides an opportunity for Allstate to better serve customers in a fast and easy way, the company says, adding that it is continuing to conduct other internal research to prepare for the best use of the technology.
‘Clearing this hurdle is a big step forward as we continue to research the benefits of using drones in our property claims service,’ says Shawn Broadfield, Allstate's claims vice president. ‘Allstate is always looking to leverage innovation as we help our customers protect what matters to them most.’
The Property Drone Consortium began its work at the start of this year and is led by EagleView Technology Corp. The FAA exemption authorizes the use of the Microdrones MD4?1000 and Aerialtronics Altura Zenith ATX8.