Drones in insurance field work

If News 1/2018 Property

Drone technology has developed fast during the last decade. Possibilities to utilize drones in insurance related fieldwork is becoming more versatile and cost efficient as technology develops and becomes commercially available.

We believe that using drones can speed up claims handling, and provide more systematic and accurate data collection, for the benefit of our clients.

To test out our hypotheses, we started a project. Since January last year, two in-house pilots have taken sufficient education, and we acquired the licenses and insurance for operations. The project has had representatives from all the Nordic countries and knowledge both from Risk management, Investigation and Claims.

The pre-study ended in October with a clear conclusion: drones are part of the future. They provide valuable information in a quick, accurate and cost-efficient way. 

They provide valuable information in a quick, accurate and cost-efficient way.

Using drones can also replace traditional ways of collecting documentation that might otherwise be dangerous or laborious for the persons involved. Furthermore, the customer dialog becomes very clear and concrete.

Among several test cases were e.g.

  1. A claim case, covering both Property and Liability. We used drones to inspect a site where an earth slide had almost completely covered two large machines with clay. We took 360 degree and still pictures. Afterwards we made a 3D model; we measured the volume of the mass, compared the height of the fracture edge with the expected or wanted height of the edge. The earth slide had covered a road to a nearby cabin area. Measuring the volume and length was useful for the claim handler in the liability case to estimate how much time it would take to remove all the clay and have the road open again. All of this was done within a few hours and almost no effort – compared to measuring with traditional means. Which would not have been possible because the area was restricted due to the mass being unsecure. Afterwards we gave all the material to the customer to be used in internal education, accident prevention and how to plan similar projects in the future.

  2. A claim related to environmental issues. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History had a problem related to surface water. It appears with cloudbursts, and has happened twice within a period of 13 months. The water causes damage to national treasures and irreplaceable buildings. By levelling the heights, problematic areas were detected. Combined with other maps related to the drainpipe system, this gave valuable information that could be used for preventive measures. 

You can read more in a Norwegian magazine, Teknisk Ukeblad.

While we are planning next steps, one thing is for sure – to be competitive, innovative and forward thinking – drones must play a part. 

Article by

Cathrine Fjeld Ytreberg

Business Developer