Having conducted field tests, major U.S. insurance company Farmers Insurance is now enlisting a fleet of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to enhance the claims process for residential customers who have suffered significant damage to their roof following major weather events.
The initial fleet of drones will be provided by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kespry, whose fully automated industrial drone system will enable Farmers to more quickly and safely gather rooftop imagery and data, generate analytic reports, supplement ladder assist capabilities, and resolve more claims with greater efficiency and accuracy, the insurer says.
A unique feature of the Farmers UAS program will be its exclusive use of Farmers claims professionals throughout the claim handling process. Instead of using third-party drone pilots, Farmers will use its own federally licensed drone operators who are also Farmers-trained claim representatives.
“Through our relationship with Kespry, we believe that Farmers will have access to the latest advancements in aerial imaging equipment and software, in addition to superior training resources,” comments Keith Daly, chief claims officer for Farmers Insurance.
For the initial deployment, Farmers will concentrate drone efforts in areas most impacted by hailstorms and other severe-weather events.
The drones will deliver high-resolution, 3D imagery, capable of detecting granule loss and other physical damage data on residential roofs. Farmers claim representatives will have access to comprehensive roof dimensions and automated damage detection; on-site availability of rooftop imagery will then be available in minutes.