Drones and Aerial Photographs

Drones are helping the insurance industry process claims much quicker in disaster ridden areas.

In the wake of three devastating hurricanes this fall, many insurance carriers have begun to use drones and and other aerial vehicles to aide in the claims process.  The use of drones have sped up the turn around time for claims processing dramatically.

Drones and Aerial Photographs

Unfortunately, this fall far too many small businesses are beginning to understand the need for protecting their small business with adequate insurance. These same business owners are also getting more familiar with the claims process between the business, the insurance agency and the insurance carrier.  If they did not know before, they are becoming familiar with at this time, the fact of how crucial it is for a claim to be processed quickly.  Getting victims back to everyday life can have an enormous impact on the communities impacted by natural disasters. This is what the insurance industry is striving to help the communities hurt by the hurricanes over the past few months.

Technology is helping in many ways. First, drones are helping carriers take both still photos and video to observe properties they are not physically able to visit. The carriers can use the information they get from drones, both in the form of aerial photographs and video, to create 3D images of the impacted area. Technology is now allowing them to do this at scale and determine what percentage of a property is destroyed without ever setting foot on the property. Now, this is not possible in all circumstances, but it is possible in many. Every case that is sped up, frees the adjusters to move on to other victims who desperately need help.

According to an article with the Insurance Journal, a recent KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler) Survey found, “the two biggest challenges facing insurers are the difficulties in assessing property damage and managing customer expectations”. As a result of the same survey insurance executives overwhelmingly said, ‘To improve claims efficiency and communication with customers, insurance executives cited the use of drones as one of the technologies they will utilize to help quickly settle claims’. Drones are helping with these exact problems facing the insurance industry, by allowing those within the industry to show the victims, with pictures and video, what they are doing and how they are going about doing it.

Through the use of drones many companies within the industry are able to drastically speed up the processing time for claims by allowing the insurance claims processor to get a majority of the claims process done without the ability to physically visit the property. Once they are able to get out to the property, insurance professionals can use the drone to examine several properties in a particular area in a short amount of time. This allows the claims adjuster to spend a short amount determining what properties are most devastated and will need the most of his time. It can also allow the adjuster to determine if another property does not need any further observations on his part and free up time for him to observe other areas that are severely devastated.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for how this and other technologies will help the insurance industry, better serve their clients in the future.

 

Technology to help Hurricane Harvey Victims

How technology is helping flood victims recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey has dumped the most water on Texas of any Hurricane in modern US History. According to Matthew Cappuci, a current student at both Harvard and MIT, ‘If you took the Empire State Building, more than a hundred stories tall, you could fill that entire volume 33,000 times with the water that fell on Houston and the surrounding areas’.  This massive amount of water has and will take an enormous effort to recover from. Technology will play a tremendous role in the rebuilding efforts. Here are four ways technology is helping Hurricane Harvey Victims.

Communication Challenges for First-Responders.Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

During the first few days of relief efforts, in response to the Hurricane, First Responders were having to get creative in order to communicate with each other and victims needing help.  In the hours and days after the hurricane, many 911 call centers and radio centers were out of commission. The disrupted networks also left more than 250,000 people without phone, TV or internet access.  As a result of this disruption in telecommunications, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) set up more than two dozen mobile communication office vehicles throughout the damaged areas. These areas had satellite-connected trucks helping FEMA employees and first responders with voice, video and data networks.

Social media as a way for Hurricane Victims to communicate with police and first responders.

In the early stages of the relief efforts, many victims were finding it difficult to get through to 911.  Dajauh Zhane Henix was separated from her daughter during rescue efforts and posted a message to Facebook that was shared more than 32,000 times. With the help of search and rescue and the power of social media, Mrs. Henix was reunited with her daughter. This is just one of many examples of the power of social media to reach many people quickly in a moment of need. Unfortunately, this power can be used in negative ways when videos or pictures go viral with inaccurate information.

Facebook is even matching up to $1 Million in donations made through the site.

Text to Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.First Responder coming to the rescue after Hurricane Harvey.

This is not such a new technology, but mobile devices now make it easier than ever to donate to relief efforts.

The Red Cross has usedtext messages asa way to donate inmany disaster relief efforts.  For Hurricane Harvey they are asking people to Text: “HARVEY” to “90999” to automatically donate $10.

If you would rather donate to a local charity, you can Text: HARVEY2017 to 91999 to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Drones are helping the insurance industry process claims.

Hurricane Harvey Weather MapWhen disaster strikes, the speed at which insurance companies process claims can be slowed dramatically. This process is important because the more quickly this process gets done, the more quickly the victims can get back to everyday life. Drones are helping insurance carriers process claims at a much faster rate than in the past. This is because an insurance carrier can now use a drone to view the damage of an area several times as big as in the past in a matter of hours. In the past the carrier would have had to have someone physically inspect the property.  They may have had to wait several days if not weeks for flood waters to recede enough to get in to the impacted areas. Now this can be done with a drone over an area inspecting ten or more covered properties at one time.  This can all be done either from a remote location or even at a location near the disaster area. Drones can allow the carrier to have a visual representation of the impacted area in a matter of a few hours instead of it taking days if not weeks only five or ten years ago.