Using Drones for Claims Investigations

 

The insurance claims industry has been publishing articles claiming to increase the use of drones for investigating property claims. Travelers Insurance Company was recently highlighted in an article in Insurance Journal magazine titled “Travelers’ Drone Program is Changing the Way its Claims Reps Do Business”, dated May 11, 2017.  In the article, Travelers is teaching claims adjusters to use drones to inspect property instead of physically going to the property and doing the inspection.  Where roofs are concerned, there is an obvious safety benefit.  However, the move is to eliminate sending an adjuster altogether thereby eliminating the expense of travel and on-site adjusting time not to mention is reduction in claim handling time.  What about auto claims and water damage claims and fire claims?  If a drone can be used to assess the damage without sending an adjuster to the scene, then the cost savings to the carrier will be very beneficial.  However, whatever cannot be seen by an adjuster now will not be seen by a drone either.  Hidden damage in roofs, vehicles or structures will present the same problem that it does today.  That is, what is not viewable and is not accounted for will have to examined and dealt with when the damage is discovered.  This further implies that roofers will be submitting estimates for additional work.  Similarly, auto mechanics and body shops will be submitting estimates for additional work when hidden damage is brought to light in their respective jobs.  Building contractors will be doing the same thing when they discover problems in structures that will have to be addressed before the building is ready to be reoccupied.  As tempting as drone technology is to insurance carriers; there are restrictions regarding flight over certain areas.  The FAA prohibits flight over certain populated areas and as a matter of safety, they are restricted within a certain distance from airports.  There are also concerns of privacy and whether or not a carrier might be spying on a customer.  Furthermore, can the photographic data be used to intentionally deny coverage to a customer as well as support a claim? Reports of carriers intentionally denying or shorting customers on their settlements is not unheard of and will continue.  Drone technology will facilitate this process.  After all is said and done, drone technology still has a ways to go before it is fully accepted as a common way of doing business.

Advertisements

2017 Scholarship Award Winners

We are proud to announce that Yancey Stewart and Jaquelin Villafuerte have each been chosen to receive the R.J. Hill Consulting scholarship awards for 2017.  Yancey is a senior at Central Magnet school in Murfreesboro Tennessee and is the son of Bill and Andrea Stewart.  Yancey plans to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville beginning in the Fall of 2017.  While at the UT, Yancey plans to major in mechanical engineering and use his education to aid in the fight against cancer.

Jaquelin Villafuerte is a senior at Smyrna High School in Smyrna Tennessee.  Jaquelin is also the daughter of Alain and Maria Villafuerte.  Jaquelin plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University and major in mechatronics engineering.  Jaquelin plans to use her education in various applications such as computers, communications, and systems.

Scott Hill, BSME, MSME, EIT

On behalf of my wife and myself, we are proud to announce that our son, Scott Hill, has received the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University. While at Tennessee Tech, Scott was active in the Maker space where he supervised the use of machine shop equipment and assisted undergraduate students with the construction of their class assigned projects. Scott was also instrumental in procuring and teaching students how to use 3D printing machines. Moreover, Scott has been involved in the development of drone technology by promoting drone design and entering drone flying competitions. Scott also earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Tech in 2015; graduated Magna Cum Laude and In Curso Honorum.  During his undergraduate years, Scott was active in various student engineering organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Autonomous Robotics Club. Earlier this year, Scott took and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination administered by the State of Tennessee, the first step toward professional licensure. Now, legally recognized by the state of Tennessee as an engineer-in-training, Scott will be going to work for SCI Incorporated as a Mechanical Design Engineer in Huntsville Alabama.

%d bloggers like this: