They're all the buzz these days: DRONES. Everybody is hearing that insurance companies are testing drones for field use in property inspections. And the adjuster schools are bending over backwards to get drone-specific training out in front of new adjusters.
But are drones a viable way to do inspections? Will investing in a drone and training increase YOUR production? Will it make you a faster adjuster and add to your bottom line?
Check out the video and let me know what you think.
Based on my experience and knowledge of this industry, I do believe that yes, drones will become a very important tool for catastrophe claims handling. However, because they are useless in handling HAIL claims, I feel that their utility will be limited to only inspecting structures that are otherwise inaccessible. Unfortunately that's not a very long list - mainly agricultural structures ike grain elevators and dairy barns as well as commercial buildings and structures.
To sum up, if there's a storm with 25 cat adjusters on it, 24 of them will not have drones in their cars. There will be one person on the storm, most likely a highly experienced IA or a staff person, who will be assigned the "impossible structures" job and it will be he or she who gets those claims. Best case scenario for the rank and file IA will be that in addition to ladder assist, drone operator could be available to assist them on their claims.
And even if I'm totally wrong (entirely possible) and in a year or two any IA can use a drone on their own inspections, I'm not convinced that using a drone will put more money in my pocket at the end of the year. Are you doing this to earn a great income? Or to play with toy helicopters?
Are you still going to buy one?
ps--I totally love my toy helicopter.