NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Allstate has been participating in tests of drone flights with a goal of using them as an innovative tool for property claims, the company announced in late December.
Following years of independent research and development, Allstate has been working with EagleView Technologies to test drone flights that could soon deliver an innovative solution to the claims process. This move is part of a major shift for the insurance industry as it embraces drone technology to further improve customer service.
“Drones are such an innovative technology,” says Allstate Claims Strategy and Innovation Vice President Shawn Broadfield. “I’m impressed by what I’ve seen to date and what we think is possible for our customers in the near future.”
Drone flights are seen as possible improvements to claims efficiency, especially after a catastrophe. Often times, physical access to a neighborhood is restricted by local authorities or by debris after disasters. In this situation, a drone could potentially help claims professionals serve customers in spite of those conditions by offering a complete picture of the situation quickly.
Ongoing weather could also affect physical inspections of property where a drone might be able to work without any delay. All of this provides an opportunity for insurers to better serve customers in a fast and easy way.
Separately, Allstate joined the Property Drone Consortium, which earlier this year received approval from the FAA to use drones for further research that can help expedite the assessment of exterior property, like roof damage. The consortium also plans to continue its research on safety, including collision avoidance, visual line of sight and many additional areas with drones.
“Drones can do things more safely and easier than a lot of what we do today,” Broadfield said. “Drones are already revolutionizing our lives. We’re excited to bring this technology to our business and improve the customer experience as a result.”
Allstate also continues other internal research on the cutting edge of innovation to prepare for the best use of drones that can improve customer service in the property claims process.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names.