Last week, I outlined some key use cases for using drones for insurance. They included enhanced risk assessment, streamlined claims processing and the opportunity to retool the claims workforce. But as with any new technology, insurers must consider the pros and cons of drones.
Some key considerations include:
- Regulatory concerns. As with any emerging technology, insurers must stay on top of regulatory requirements to ensure they are in compliance. Presently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed regulations for small commercial drones flown under 500 feet. The proposed regulations come with restrictions that will likely be refined as the agency receives feedback.
- If drones are permitted for insurance purposes, what are best practices for incorporating the aircraft—and the data they collect—into an insurer’s workflow? Insurers will also have to consider who will operate the drone, from where (on-site or remotely) and how the operator will be trained.
- Customers may not take kindly to the use of drones for claims processing, and insurers will likely have to deal with trespassing and privacy concerns. To be fair, there could be similar privacy concerns with a human adjuster inspecting a property, but drones seem to trigger a different level of concern.
For now, it’s too soon to say whether drones will become part of an insurer’s everyday operations. But it’s prudent for insurers to begin thinking about how drones—or similar technology—could benefit their operations today and in the future.