Twenty Years of Improving Inspection Technology

Twenty Years of Improving Inspection Technology
The property inspection business has seen some exciting technology advancements during the past two decades. Availability of rapid, wireless access to the Internet, mobile technology, microprocessing, high-resolution imaging from smart phones and affordable commercial drones are just some of the inspection technology areas making significant changes in the insurance inspection area.
We’ve all witnessed huge technological advancements during this generation that have changed the way we do many things, including:

  • Shopping
  • Watching TV
  • Investing
  • Buying insurance
  • Gathering news and more

The time has also come for technology to completely revolutionize the property inspection industry.

Property Insurance Inspection Technology
Property inspections are an integral part of the property insurance underwriting process and they have been advancing in a number of ways during the past two decades. Data gathered during these inspections have become more useful and, due to improving inspection technology, the entire inspection process has become easier, more efficient and more affordable.

New methods used for conducting property inspections include the use of tablet computers, smart phones with high-resolution cameras, high-quality image processing software, immediate Internet access from the field, commercial drones and more.

Aerial Imagery
Since the advent of easy-to-operate drones paired with high-resolution cameras, gathering data using aerial imagery has become more and more common for insurance companies. While this technology has been in use for several years for help in claims investigations, it’s now also being utilized by insurers during the property inspection and underwriting process.

Aerial imagery can be used during property inspections for a number of purposes, including:

  • Inspecting a property’s roof for condition, age and material without having to physically be on the roof. This inspection technology makes checking out a roof quicker, easier and safer.
  • Getting a bird’s-eye view of an entire property with little fuss is also a big time saver when conducting an inspection. Exterior inspections can be conducted without the requirement of having the property owner available to unlock the gate to the back yard and it’s easy to get a good look at back yard pools, trampolines, tree houses and other items that are of definite concern to you as an underwriter.
  • Time and energy are also saved when having to view a larger property without actually needing to physically walk the entire area. The extent of nearby rivers, lakes and forests that may have an effect on underwriting decisions can also be clearly taken in.

Image Processing Software
Data gathered from aerial imaging through the use of drones paired with the needed inspection technology now available to capture and process high-resolution images make it possible to automatically inform certain underwriting decisions. Here are some examples of how aerial imaging can be utilized in the property inspection industry:

  • In addition to inspecting building roofs for condition, material and age, high-resolution imaging data gathered can also indicate roof shape, size, pitch and more
  • As property changes over time, additions or deletions of structures can be compared from one year to another at renewal time
  • Being able to verify a property’s characteristics allows for accurate replacement cost estimates to arrive at a reliable insurance-to-value equation

With the mobile technologies available, the old days of inspecting properties with pen, paper and old-style cameras and then transferring all the data onto a written report are over. For some properties, it’s even possible for property owners to conduct their own self-inspections. This saves both time and money for underwriters.

New technologies are changing the world with incredible speed. Insurance inspections done by Insurance Risk Services are at the cutting edge of these changes. Contact us for further information on the services we provide.