Flying Violations Create Risk for Using Drones as Inspection Technology

Flying Violations Create Risk for Using Drones as Inspection Technology
The use of drones to aid in property inspections is one of the most talked about inspection technology trends for the property and casualty insurance industry. Currently, a few insurance carriers are testing out the use of drones to see how they can add value to the property inspection process.
Loosened FAA Guidelines Have Lead to an Increase in Drone Flying Violations
Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) loosened the guidelines for commercial drone use, making it more feasible for insurance carriers to use drones in property inspections. However, just within the short period of loosening these guidelines, the FAA has reported a considerable increase in drone flying violations.

To be more specific, the number of drone safety violations increased by 46 percent between 2015 and 2016. While there were several claims from pilots that drone strikes were made on their aircrafts, the FAA has not been able to verify any of these claims to date. Each claim has been carefully investigated by the FAA and has revealed that the collisions were from either birds or other items such as posts and wires–not drones.

Safely Integrating Drones Into National Airspace is a Priority for the FAA
A top priority for the FAA regarding drone use is safely integrating drones into national airspace. Flying drones near airplanes and helicopters is illegal and will result in stiff fines and possible jail time. The FAA is very serious about maintaining a safe airspace and has created the free app B4UFLY to provide drone users with information on where drones can be used safely.

While the use of drones by insurance carriers would not involve going anywhere near an airplane or helicopter, it’s still important to be aware of the latest FAA guidelines in regards to the use of drones.

Even though there is a lot of hype surrounding the use of drones as inspection technology for insurance carriers, it’s important to note that drones will never be able to replace the value that an in-person property inspection provides. As this inspection technology becomes more prevalent in the insurance industry, it will be interesting to see how insurance carriers combine the use of drone technology and in-person property inspections to more accurately underwrite risk.

At Insurance Risk Services, we’ve been partnering with insurance carriers for more than 35 years and have seen a number of inspection technology trends evolve during this time. Please contact us to learn more about how we’re using technology to provide insurance carriers with underwriting support to allow them to make more informed decisions.

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