Drones have captured the attention of consumers and businesses alike. Despite stringent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations that make drone use virtually impossible in populated areas, companies from a wide range of industries are experimenting with unmanned aerial vehicles to collect data, saving humans from the laborious task. And so it goes in the insurance industry, where Travelers is testing drones to take live video and photos of property damage.
The idea is provide human safety and efficiency, says Patrick Gee, Travelers senior vice president of claim. Currently, Travelers and other property insurers train claims professionals to scale roofs. Climbing ladders to reach multi-story roofs is hazardous by any measure, but particularly where sharp inclines of say, 30 degrees or more are involved. A drone can survey roof damage in real-time and relay that to claims agents' phones, tablets or pretty much any screen with an Internet connection.
CIO.com got demonstration of the drones in action (and more) at Travelers' Claims University, a 200,000-square foot-plus facility where 7,000 claims professionals go each year to learn how the data-driven claim analysis business works. Nate Stanton (shown here), a Travelers claim product manager, presides over this drone fleet at the Windsor, Conn. facility.
[ Read more: Insurer's drones offer a bird's eye view of property damages ]