There are currently a number of trends positively affecting property inspections, both commercial and residential. As an insurance company underwriter, you depend on having current risk data that is accurate, timely and cost-effective. One of the most important factors affecting property inspection speed and quality is the advent of mobile inspection software.
This specialized computer software gives property inspectors the capability of using a mobile computing device such as a tablet or Smartphone to record inspection data digitally, on-site, rather than relying on the old-school pen and paper method. Quality property inspection software saves time and improves the accuracy of reports. It also eliminates the need to fill out forms manually. Completed inspection reports can be finished on-site, with formatting done automatically and no need to return to the office to reenter data already recorded. Photos and videos can also be included with reports.
For the inspector, a tablet becomes a mobile information portal, freeing him or her from being tied down to the office to complete reports. With the capabilities of video conferencing, you can even “ride along” with your inspector on a property inspection and, upon completion, receive your report at the press of a button for super-fast decision making potential. Data is collected in a standard format making the reporting process easier, more accurate, quicker and more cost effective. Checklists on these apps make inspections more straightforward, including sections such as:
- Building exterior
- HVAC system
- Electrical system
- Fire safety
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Evacuation plans
- Miscellaneous areas where code violations may be present
Mobile devices, important advancements in inspection technology, include tablets and Smartphones. They’re not only a necessary part of utilizing popular mobile inspection software apps but also have other roles important in the inspection process. The capability of Smartphones to transmit photos and videos at little or no cost provides homeowners with the means to conduct self-inspections where permissible. They’re an ideal adjunct to drones being utilized to inspect rooftops and other hard to reach areas and to help inspectors save time and energy by being able to forgo a complete walk around a large property and its surrounding areas.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have found growing application in numerous operational areas ranging from law enforcement and movie making to security services, property inspections and more. They represent a fantastic advancement in property inspection technology, especially when used in conjunction with Smartphones. One great use for drones is when they’re used along with Smartphones coupled with infrared imaging technology. These devices are being used to detect water intrusion under roofs and inside walls, even in buildings 30 or 40 feet tall.
Water intrusion is one of a building’s biggest potential problems, often going undetected for long periods of time and encouraging rot, mold and infestations. Infrared drones can detect this problem quickly and inexpensively and can even stream a live video to an off-site engineer or architect, where specific zooms and angles can be requested, creating visual access similar to an in-person inspection.
It’s another example of how cutting-edge inspection technology is saving time and money. Contact Insurance Risk Services at (800) 644-5112 to learn about what other tools we can put to work for you.