Imagine this: One day, a scaffold collapses on a construction site. There are minor injuries, but significant damage to the nearby buildings and pieces of equipment. What happens when the insurance adjuster arrives to evaluate the damage? He or she could go to their car and pull out a small aerial drone. Once in the air, this piece of technology provides a birds-eye view and will survey the whole scene in a matter of minutes.
After that, the construction company has more information quickly, their costs related to workers compensation insurance and other forms of indemnification could decrease thanks to a more efficient use of time, and a risk management plan can be updated to account for any recommended safety changes. These are just some of the ideas floating around the insurance industry, and it appears that the increase of drone use could become a very real trend in the near future.
Is drone use on the rise?
"I envision a time when, after a catastrophe, an adjuster pulls up to a neighborhood and opens the trunk of his car and presses a few buttons on his tablet device and the drone does an immediate survey of everything and streams it all right to his tablet device, and he knows exactly where to go first and what's most significant ... within minutes," Jason Wolf, a property defense attorney at the Florida-based firm of Koch Parafinczuk & Wolf, told Insurance Journal. "Costing very little money, the insurance company has a sense of everything that needs to be done in a very short amount of time."
Wolf's vision could have dramatic ramifications on the property and casualty insurance marketplace, as well as other segments throughout the industry. Insurance Journal noted that many industry experts support his claims, and there appears to be a growing sentiment that drone use is on the rise across the country, as long as federal regulations allow it.
However, there are still some problems. Privacy is a major concern, the news source explained. An adjuster investigating a scene might impede on other people's properties nearby. This could create additional legal problems and costs, something nobody wants to see. This could be solved with more testing at job sites, as well as additional discussions and regulations.
Drones provide endless possibilities
One of the good things about drone use is that it can be used for a number of applications, not just for insurance adjusters. Other businesses could use them as well, as a cost-effective way to simplify operations or survey a location in an extremely fast manner.
According to PropertyCasualty360, more businesses across the country are starting to use drones. For example, they have become popular in real estate as a way to show homes to potential clients. This could also trend into the residential construction industry too, and homebuilders may be able to provide virtual tours of their properties using these devices. Before anything changes, though, the nation first has to sort out the complex regulatory and legal challenges facing commercial drone use.
With this impediment in the way at the moment, it could be some time before a construction company sees an insurance adjuster show up on site with a drone. Even so, this trend could eventually provide a boost to a risk management plan as well as the property and casualty insurance industry as a whole. PropertyCasualty360 reported that experts predict a significant increase in the number of drones flying throughout U.S. skies over the next decade. That could mean that this concept isn't showing any signs of slowing down.