Article Synopsis :
Drones and other new sources of data create game-changing possibilities for insurers, but with all that data comes the challenge of managing it and not every carrier is up to the task.
In “Transformation of Roof Claim Processing”, Ross Bohnstedt of Panton discusses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Insurers have been slow to adopt these technologies as they upset decades of established practice. Specific sources of reluctance include:
- Scale: Since the drone industry is in its infancy the thinking goes mass adoption would lead to huge demand and supply mismatches causing disruption to operations.
- Lack of confidence in the underlying technologies: The immaturity of UAV and UAS technologies raises widespread concern around operational integrity especially at scale.
- Lack of turnkey solutions: Lack of coordinated products expose carriers to dependence on multiple vendors ultimately adding to the cost and complexity of adoption not to mention the harvesting of metrics measuring success (or failure).
- New technologies supplanting drones: Insurers lose flexibility once they fully commit to a UAV approach. Path dependence, especially on immature technologies, creates risk.
- Out with the new, keep the old: Traditional insurers carry a traditional mindset, hindering mass adoption of UAVs.
- Regulations: Various security and regulatory concerns related to UAVs are in the process of being worked out. Until they’re resolved mass adoption is unlikely.
Despite these concerns the paper is ultimately bullish on the future of UAVs for their ability to substantially reduce claims costs. Once plain-vanilla drones successfully integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies the value proposition will be too strong to ignore.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsAs Amazon makes drone delivery history with an airdrop of popcorn in Cambridge, UK, a new standard is set in UAV technologies that impacts insurers long-term. Amazon’s success with the FAA and other regulatory bodies on the commercial use of drones paves the way for other commercial users. Integrated imagery, analytics and telematics will eventually yield UAVs that are essentially robo-claims adjusters that will be faster, smarter, more accurate, and less expensive than current methods.
Forward-thinking carriers like USAA and Travellers are already riding the UAV wave. Should you be as well?
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