Insurers could soon launch an eye in the sky.

RBS CoverPlus

Insurers could soon launch an eye in the sky.

Today, drones are no strangers to the skies. Whether its little kid captains flying for fun, envious neighbours using them as spy planes to keep up with the Jones’ or more recently, piloting one as a race craft, which saw a pimply 15 year-old win a whopping $250 000 prize in the World Drone Prix held in Dubai, these tiny fleet-of-flight aero-gadgets aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon (except up, up and away, of course).

So what’s this got to do with insurance? Well, insurers are looking to capitalise on using high-end drones as business-betterment tools to expedite client claims, improve efficiencies and even possibly reduce client premiums. Yes, the top of the line ones are costly, but they offer innovative and invaluable data capture features, via a high-definition camera and embedded sensors that can record temperature and other atmospheric conditions.

To assess risk as perfectly as possible, irrespective of the geographic location, is a key aspect in any insurer’s playbook. A professionally piloted drone can provide all the required data needed on a property that requires cover, such as a farm or multi-unit residential space, in literally just a blink of its eye – and transmit it back to the office in real time to be reviewed.

This saves significantly on human and other resources and allows insurers to speed up the initial risk profile, manage the process faster, more accurately and even remotely. The drone can also give the insurer a 360-degree understanding of the surroundings.

Using drones is ideal for the real-time assessment of developments in areas that are not always readily accessible and in rural or remote areas. This means all the insurer needs do is send a drone to the insured (so no more time consuming travel and meetings for both parties) to record and send the development progress. Policies can then be updated instantly.

Drone-driven risk assessment can also easily be applied to other key policy profile aspects, such as the area’s susceptibility to lightning strikes, fires and floods, crime trends, monitoring soil conditions and rainfall, all of which complement the service an insurer can provide to the insured.

But wait, we’re not landing just yet…

Drones are also great security guards. For example, they can be sent in advance to monitor high-risk areas before a valuable shipment arrives, making them an efficient asset protection tool, while also reducing the risk to drivers and other staff. During natural disasters, they can be deployed for instant crisis and threat assessments and send critical information straight to emergency services.

Insurers can also use drones for inventory management and stocktaking, so policies can be quickly updated with real-rime stock levels instead of estimations, giving the insured total peace of mind.

The introduction of drones into the insurance process is still conceptual, yet the potential cost and time efficiencies are extremely positive in the quest for more pin-point accuracy regarding risk assessment.

Keep your eyes peeled…