Palo Alto, Calif.-based SkyWatch.AI, a data analysis, risk assessment and risk reduction platform for the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry, has signed an exclusive partnership deal with Starr Cos. to offer a telematics-based UAV insurance platform.
Starr is an insurance and investment organization with a presence on five continents. Starr is the marketing name for the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of Starr International Co. Inc. and for the investment business of C. V. Starr & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries.
The partnership will allow Starr to expand its existing drone insurance product and offer a unique telematics-based insurance to UAV operators, says SkyWatch, which recently raised $2 million in a seed round led by F2 Capital, Verizon Ventures and Kaedan Capital.
“We are very excited to partner with a visionary company such as Starr,” comments Tomer Kashi, SkyWatch’s CEO. “Their understanding of the importance of safety in aviation, amazing reputation, track record and innovative approach makes them the perfect partner for SkyWatch.”
“Starr is one of the largest aviation insurers in the U.S.,” adds Ori Blumenthal, SkyWatch’s chief technology officer. “Their ability to look to the future and perceive trends is what makes them such a category leader – and their understanding of usage-based insurance is what will keep them there.”
SkyWatch’s mobile app is currently available on an invite-only basis on iOS and Android to both business and recreational operators. The app allows operators to get real-time hazard warnings based on a drone’s telemetry. For each flight, it calculates a proprietary “safety score,” which can be used to set an industry benchmark for operators, who will then be more aware of how they fly and will be able to improve their score as they practice better, safer flights.
Additionally, qualified operators can purchase insurance based on, among other things, this safety score. Kashi explains that “safer pilots, with high scores, can expect to see their insurance premiums decrease over time.”
SkyWatch says its software gathers a variety of data sources and uses artificial intelligence-based algorithms to analyze risks for drone operators. For example, in DJI drones, these include more than 30 different sensors to predict and assist in preventing potential failures before they ever occur; hyper-local weather (wind, precipitation and temperature); 3D airspace/ground, and crowd density.
“The use of UAVs is growing rapidly. SkyWatch allows qualified UAV operators to easily secure quality insurance coverage, which is essential for any business,” says Steve Blakey, president and CEO of Starr Insurance Holdings. “SkyWatch delivers the ability for Starr’s aviation business unit to effortlessly obtain the proper data, which can be used for better insights on the unique risk a UAV presents.”