Evolving Technologies Improving Residential Inspections for Insurers and Insureds

Evolving Technologies Improving Residential Inspections for Insurers and Insureds
Having a residential inspection done has long been part and parcel of the homeowner’s insurance policy underwriting process. The past few years have seen significant improvements in the way these inspections are being done, leading to higher efficiency and more cost effectiveness.
Major drivers responsible for these improvements include:

  • Advancements in inspection technologies such as smart phones and computer tablets, easy Internet access from the field, commercial drones, high-resolution aerial cameras and specialized data and imaging software
  • Access to new and improved data through these evolving technologies

Improved Residential Inspection Technologies are Helping Insurance Underwriters
As a property insurance underwriter, you need access to highly reliable data regarding a property’s physical characteristics and risk profile. Aerial imagery has been in use for a number of years in the insurance industry, primarily in the area of claims resolutions. Aerial and geospatial imagery is now playing an ever-increasing role in property inspections and homeowner’s policy underwriting.

Through the continued evolution of high-resolution camera equipment and a softening of the regulations regarding the flight of commercial drones, high-resolution data has become readily accessible for use in conducting inspections and underwriting policies.

Aerial Imaging With Drone Use
Here are some of the ways the residential inspection process is being benefitted through the use of high-resolution cameras mounted to remote-controlled drones:

  • Roof inspections – assess the condition of roofs without having to climb up onto the roof, making inspections quicker and safer. High-resolution cameras are capable of providing data regarding a roofs size, shape, pitch, composition and more. This technology is also useful for inspecting the outside surfaces of high-rise buildings.
  • Insurance cross-selling – aerial imaging lets you get a view of an entire property, not just the main structure. Seeing a boat or a recreational vehicle parked on the property will let you know about the opportunity to offer additional types of insurance to your customer.
  • Identification can be made of any exterior risk exposures such as additional structures, swimming pools, trampolines, treehouses, etc.
  • Note changes in a property over time such as a room addition or a new deck. This helps at policy renewal time as the home’s increased value may have changed estimated replacement costs.

Mobile Technology
Mobile technology, specifically computer tablets and smartphones, are having a significant effect on residential inspections. Pens, paper and traditional cameras are being replaced by tablet computers and digital cameras that can seamlessly add photos to inspection reports being created on the spot in the field. Efficiency gains of creating reports by inputting data directly into a tablet rather than having to transpose from paper back at the office are significant. Data collection and report processing are both simpler and quicker when using mobile technology. This also makes them more cost-effective.

Mobile devices are now making it possible for homeowners to complete their own residential inspection. Obtaining the needed data and images and using a self-inspection app enables homeowners to submit a report directly to you, the insurance underwriter, saving both time and money for your company.

The data and photos obtained by a homeowner during self-inspection can provide the information needed to accurately determine property characteristics and hazardous conditions both inside and outside a home. This includes important interior systems such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC. In addition, information regarding personal possessions can also be determined to ensure adequate coverage for these items.

Residential inspections continue to be more accurate, comprehensive and cost-effective through the use of evolving inspection technology. Insurance Risk Services remains on the cutting edge of this evolving technology. Connect with us to improve your underwriting system.

We’re delighted to announce that Insurance Risk Services will rebrand to Davies in the near future.

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