Anyone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention lately can’t help but notice that drones, drone estimating, and drone classes have quickly become an ever-growing niche in the insurance industry.
A drone inspection, coupled with roof measurements from satellite imagery would take the inspection time from what a few years ago could have taken well over an hour down to about 15 minutes. The impact on cycle times for adjusters, the number of homes a contractor can inspect in a day, or the homeowner’s ability to check their own roof for damage prior to a claim can’t be overstated.
With all of this information travelling the information superhighway, there is no time to wait on paper-based systems. Based on a company’s needs or resources available, the fieldwork and inspections could be done with someone who is newer to the industry with that inspection report sent back electronically (and from the job site even) to someone with experience who is waiting on the other end to actually handle the loss.
If the owner of the property has any paperwork that needs to be captured then there are a number of paid and free apps that can scan those documents to a PDF utilizing Android or Apple phones. This allows the owner to retain the original copies while allowing the file manager access to the electronic copies the same day.
All of this technology exists today, and it didn’t just a few, short years ago. Historically the insurance industry has been slow to adopt new policies and procedures. They are, after all, the epitome of a legacy business. With that being said, the digital tide can’t be held back. In this age of smartphones and society’s demand for instant gratification the industry will have no choice but to pivot and begin to utilize the technology that is becoming more and more available. Many exciting technologies are coming to market, and drone inspections and photography are one of those. They can’t replace the inspector, but in the right situations they do provide another solution.
Ultimately, those companies that embrace new technology, shorten the amount of time it takes for the customer to get results, and is able to keep everyone informed of the process along the way will be the companies that prosper and flourish. Those companies that continue with legacy systems will go the way of Blockbuster, Sears, and any number of brands that have fallen by the wayside. Technology is a wave. You can either ride it or you’ll get crushed by it.