Having received a commercial exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), American Family Insurance will test the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to accelerate its response to catastrophes.
The property-casualty insurer says it is now one step closer to helping customers in situations when access to high-damage areas can be restricted for up to several days.
“When disasters strike, every moment counts when it comes to helping our customers recover,” says Paul Choi, claims national product director for American Family. “Drones could supply images to help us more quickly determine the extent of damage – providing information to deploy resources and prioritize our efforts on homes that are worst hit.”
The company will test the first flights this fall in Madison and will later evolve to testing in real-world scenarios. According to the FAA exemption grant, American Family can operate the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and DJI Inspire 1.
“In some situations, drones could provide us a true picture of what our customers are facing in a matter of hours, instead of days. That’s huge when people are looking for information, help and hope,” explains Ryan Rist, American Family’s innovation director. “We’re excited about the potential.”