The next time your Farm & Ranch insured experiences a loss, they may want to look to the sky when their adjuster arrives. Nearly one year into the FMH Farm & Ranch Drone Pilot Program (pun intended), the benefits are clear and the company plans to give the program wings in 2020.
“Many larger P&C carriers have pilot programs exploring the benefits of drone usage, but it is not a highly used process in the industry,” explained Chris Isebrand, P&C Adjuster and FMH’s first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certified Remote Pilot. “FMH P&C management is always open to new ideas to save on resources and to make the customer service interaction a more positive experience between the adjuster and insured.”
So far, FMH’s single drone, a DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, has been used over 80 times for claims including structure wind and hail damages, cattle in the corn, vehicle collision site inspection, and property inspections.
“Drone usage isn’t for every claim,” Isebrand said. “However, for cattle in the corn and over-spray liability claims, a determination of the damages can be made much more accurately and quickly than surveying the field by walking.”
Not only does a drone allow an adjuster to view a large area quickly, the adjuster can access new heights without leaving the ground.
“When investigating roof damage for property damage claims, the time it takes to investigate the damages generally drops by 50 percent – and sometimes more,” Isebrand explained. He noted that he could inspect a typical residential roof in under 15 minutes with the drone.
Plus, with the high-quality camera in FMH’s drone, the flying photos provide more details and better angles than standard cameras. “Site inspections of accident scenes have a new vantage point,” he added.
Isebrand also explained that for adjusters, one of the greatest advantages of using drones for inspection and claims is safety: “No missteps off ladders, no falling off roofs, and no climbing fences to get to a barn surrounded by cattle!”
FMH will add two more drones and two more FAA-Certified Remote Pilot adjusters for a “tentative flight release” in early 2020.