Drones and robots are becoming more prevalent in the insurance industry, with insurers investing heavily to keep up with demand.
Drones and robots are becoming more and more popular in the insurance industry. Insurers around the world have increased their investments in these technologies to avoid any potential losses.
Insurance firms are expanding their investments in robotic technologies to assist claims adjusters in evaluating storm-damaged homes in a safer and more cost-effective manner.
The Travelers Company, the United Services Automobile Association, and Farmers Insurance Group were among the major property and liability insurers to use aerial drones to assess property damage after Hurricane Ida this summer.
Farmers said last month that it will return inspections to the ground level by deploying a robotic dog to sites devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
The insurance sector is expected to spend approximately $602 million on robotics systems, including drones, in 2021, according to International Data Corp., with expenditure increasing to $1.7 billion in 2025.
“All of these technologies are aimed at enhancing the abilities of so-called knowledge workers,” said Patrick Van Brussel, research director at the technology consulting firm.
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Drones and robots, he claims, make insurance more effective, efficient, and safe. Drones, for example, may examine a damaged roof rapidly and provide pictures to a claims system without sending an adjuster inside a potentially dangerous structure.
According to Mr. Van Brussel, insurers will continue to embrace drones, robots, and other technology as businesses discover new applications for them.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana and then moved north across the United States, Travelers, which has a fleet of more than 700 drones, deployed 200 last month to check clients’ homes. Drones will be used more often for claims inspection, according to the firm.
Travelers’ vice president of property claim, Jim Wucherpfennig, said, “Drone usage helps enhance the safety of our field claim workers and our field risk control experts.” “The technology enables us to create damage estimates for our clients faster and pay them faster, allowing them to start repairing their property and getting back on their feet.”
Farmers said that drones also assisted them in assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Ida to their clients’ houses.
Farmers’ head of claims strategy and automation, Samantha Santiago.
Farmers Insurance Group photo
“In our 100 years in business, we’ve found that investing in technology that make the claims processing process quicker and more efficient leads to greater customer satisfaction,” Samantha Santiago, Farmers’ director of claims strategy and automation, said.
Spot, a 70-pound, four-legged robot from Boston Dynamics Inc., is the company’s most recent investment. It may be used to enter vacant, structurally vulnerable homes and structures to evaluate damage. Farmers Insurance will be the first company to use the mobile robot.
“Spot provides us the capacity to view what’s ahead of us on the ground. “Things that an adjuster may not be able to see,” Ms. Santiago said.
The Farmers robot has a pan-tilt-zoom camera that can record 360-degree images as well as a thermal camera that can identify hot areas. The robot’s images will be sent to Farmers’ claims systems, where human adjusters and image-analysis tools will assist in determining the degree of the damage.
Later this year, Spot is anticipated to be deployed.
Along with Spot, a Farmers adjuster will be dispatched to guide the robot’s path.
While robots are taking on more tasks that were formerly performed by humans, neither technology analysts nor insurance experts believe that robots will ever replace adjusters.
According to J.P. Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst at advisory firm Forrester Research Inc., the future of work involves people and robots working side by side, often creating a division of labor that allows robots to do things that are repetitive, dangerous, or require analytics while humans use judgment, creativity, and people skills.
He also said that insurance robots and drones are nearly completely controlled by humans nowadays.
Mr. Gownder said, “Robots are flawed, they need a lot of supervision, and they can’t offer humanistic customer care.”
John McCormick can be reached at [email protected]
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