Guest article by Dr. Scott Burgess
If you have been paying attention to drones and what this technology offers, you may have also thought about how it may affect what you do as an adjuster.
If a new ladder came out that made your life easier, your job as an adjuster safer, save you money and reduce risk, would you put some thought into purchasing that ladder?
Let’s use that same logic to think about adjusting with drones, why you should care, and what all this hype is about.
This current hype likely comes from how rapidly the drone has grown in utility across so many spectrums. Consider the simplicity of access to detailed aerial imagery, a low investment needed just to fly something through the sky, and of course there is the entertainment factor. The broad capabilities of drones are seemingly never-ending, and the hype applies directly to what you can do as an adjuster, today.
Drone technology has continuously advanced and now shows high promise in the catastrophe industry. This technology has been more acceptable as well to carriers and other decision makers on accepting drone data for claims. The challenge of course comes into play when trying to determine when an adjuster should integrate this technology into their tools.
In January 2019 at the NACA conference, an informal survey determined that close to 40% of adjusters in attendance had flown a drone and that approximately 30% had use the imagery on a job. Contrast this with another informal survey the previous year where the numbers were less than 5%. Less than 5 in attendance this year indicated they were allowed to integrate a drone (assuming all present had inquired of the possibility of doing so). Lets address some of the known and tested benefits to integration;
A drone can enhance time on the ground by scanning, measuring and identifying damage in mere minutes, and with up to 95% accuracy.
Workflows can be established that enable adjusters to leapfrog by collecting, then processing enroute or later. With a small footprint, equipment is scalable.
Risk has always been a big part of what adjusters do. Drone use significantly reduces risk exposure, by first allowing for a reconnaissance prior to climbing and/or, a full roof scope flight.
If discussing initial costs, drone technology is worthy of serious consideration because it is an investment with an extremely high return on investment; simple math confirms this.
While this technology is not something you pull off the shelf and immediately use, it in fact IS something that requires preparation. Implementing a drone into your operation can in fact happen rapidly and within weeks with the right kind of preparation.
Insurance carriers’ appetite to integrate drone technology into claim inspections is evolving daily. Don’t be left behind. Make sure you’re ready when they’re ready, so you can get the deployment and put your skills and investments to work.