Inspection Technology Allows For Remote Viewing

Inspection Technology Allows For Remote Viewing
Property inspectors who work for insurance companies serve an important role in the insurer’s underwriting process. As an insurance underwriter, you depend on your property inspector to supply you with important information you can use in determining:
  • Which properties are a good bet for your company to insure
  • How much should be charged for insuring a particular property
  • What problems are present that could lead to future claims against your issued policy
  • What can be done to mitigate any problems uncovered, thereby improving the property’s safety profile

Ever-Advancing Property Inspection Technology

Insurance company underwriting is a data-driven process, with data being generated from a number of sources, both internal and external. Geospatial imagery is one example of a fairly new inspection technology that allows you to conduct remote viewing in real-time of a property that may often be changing from year to year and yet may not require a boots-on-the-ground inspection after a simple alteration to the property. Consider the addition of a new swimming pool for example. Such a property upgrade will definitely have an impact on a property’s insurance coverage requirements, but only after the alteration becomes known to you, the underwriter. Unless the homeowner informs your company about significant changes to the property they may remain unidentified. The same may be true of a backyard tree house or trampoline, both of which may add an extra layer of liability to a property. Remote viewing through the utilization of geospatial imagery makes it possible to view changes made to the exterior of a property from afar, from anywhere you have internet access.

Another Important Remote Viewing Tool

Another advanced inspection technology that allows for remote viewing is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone. Drones have a great many applications in different areas, including in the insurance industry. Through improved data collection, the use of drones is able to provide better risk management and analysis while increasing efficiency and effectiveness and reducing operating costs. Some various uses of drone technology in insurance inspections include:
  • Roof inspections, especially rooftops that are steeply pitched, difficult to access or dangerously slippery when icy or wet
  • Large property inspections that could otherwise take hours if done by physically walking the grounds
  • Making a periodic check of the general condition of a property after a few years from the initial issue of a policy
  • Verify damage done after a claim is made following a natural disaster. Also provides a quicker, safer way to make a repair estimate and can prevent potential fraud on the part of a policyholder claiming non-existent property damage
  • Provide a full view of a fenced and locked backyard to see if any unreported risks exist such as a swimming pool, tree house, trampoline, or disallowed dog breed

Tools and Systems

Insurance technologies can be put into one of two categories: tools or systems. Tools, such as the drones previously discussed, can simply be used as a child’s toy or, with the addition of the proper system’s application, can be turned into a useful tool capable of performing numerous jobs. Without a quality imaging device and the program needed to translate images into useful data, a drone can’t be used to inspect a rooftop. The same is true of many inspection tools currently being utilized in the field.

The All-Pervasive Smart Phone

Many of today’s smartphones have high-quality, built-in cameras that enable users to take top-notch photos to include as part of their inspection data while in the field. Without a good inspection report app on their phone, however, capable of seamlessly adding these photos to a report, these images cannot be used to their fullest. Add a wireless internet connection to that phone and it becomes all the more powerful, enabling your inspector to send photos to you in real-time if needed. If you require a streaming video feed from an inspection site, that’s also possible with the right software setup. Smartphones are a fantastic technological advancement for the property inspection business. With quality software, a comprehensive inspection report can be composed on the spot, while conducting the inspection, and forwarded to you, the underwriter, while still on the property. This technology speeds up the entire inspection process, providing improved customer service and faster policy underwriting turnaround.

Nudging Ahead in the Property Inspection Industry

For decades, home inspectors were happy to work with simple tools of the trade such as pencil and paper on a clipboard, flashlight, cell phone, camera, and a variety of simple testing devices. Today, inspection tools have become more sophisticated and able to offer more comprehensive data to help better identify risks. Contact Insurance Risk Services for a property inspection company on the edge of the latest in inspection technology. Let them help you make the best underwriting decisions.