State Farm Will Use Drones To Speed Up Insurance Claim Settlements

Insurer Adds Drones To Toolbox



” State Farm is taking to the skies to process homeowners’ claims faster.

  The Bloomington, Illinois-based company was the first insurer to receive FAA approval to document damage using drones, which can quickly get to places State Farm agents can’t.

  Immediately after hurricanes, earthquakes and other catastrophic events, responders often encounter damaged roads, bridges and other obstacles to reaching policyholders’ property.

“ It may be days or weeks before our claim associates are even allowed into the community to begin physical inspections,” the company said in a statement. “Simply stated, we want to investigate whether this technology can be used to benefit our customers during the time they need us most.”

  Although policyholders value faster claims processing, State Farm’s plan to use drones to record images of homeowners’ damage has triggered concerns about privacy and safety. 

  Public opinion isn’t the only thing State Farm has to navigate. The insurer also must adhere to strict FAA rules when using the unmanned aircraft, which can be 9 feet wide and weigh up to 20 pounds.

  For example, only people licensed to pilot an actual airplane are allowed to pilot a drone for commercial use. The FAA relaxed its standard in February 2015, when it decided to allow people with recreational and sport pilot certificates to operate commercial drones. Those certificates are less expensive and easier to get than the previously required private pilot certificate, but they are still created for people who spend time sitting in a cockpit.”


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