Drones are becoming the eyes of the insurance inspector

The future is now.  A growing number of insurance companies are sending drones to check out damage to homes or cars in order to speed up paying insurance claims.

Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, explains their usefulness.  “What the drones can do is get to areas where, after a weather catastrophe such as a hurricane, that you’re not going to be able to get to,” he says.  “You’re going to have power lines down, you’re going to have trees down, you’re going to have debris all over the place.”  In 2005, Hanna points out, Hurricane Rita blew down enough pine trees to block roads and make many neighborhoods hard to get into or out of.

Hanna says roof inspection is changing thanks to drones.  “The insurance adjusters, all of them have to have a pickup truck with a ladder in the back,” he notes, “and maybe the days of having that ladder in the back may be coming to an end.”  He says a drone’s camera can capture detail, and can see things from a greater altitude that can’t be seen from 5 or 6 feet away.

Hanna says drones are the future, as more and more insurance companies are using drone technology.  “In the long run, it’s going to help us,” he predicts.  “It’s going to speed up insurance claims, it’s going to speed up getting money to people who need it in the event they’ve been hit by a disaster, whether it’s a tornado, a hailstorm, or a hurricane.” 

Nor are drones in use only in Texas, of course.  So the skies over Tulsa are likely to be buzzing with drones after the weekend’s tornado.

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