Random Thoughts: Drones

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A short one today – still working on the new study (see the sneak peeks here and here):

  • It seems that quite a few insurers are now thinking of using drones for their business, judging by FAA approvals: State Farm, AIG, USAA and Erie, just to name a few that were in the news recently.
  • What are the use cases? The most obvious is damage inspection (and Lynn Kesterson-Townes had a nice post on that a while back). But I can see just as good a use in underwriting. Imagine your commercial underwriter visiting a plant or warehouse, wearing with an augmented reality visor and bringing along 1-2 small camera-equipped drones. One walk- and fly-through, and you’ve got all the risk hotspots covered, plus you’d be able to identify lots of potential ones, especially if you have a Watson system in the background. Risk mitigation at its best; and you can even start offering it to home-owners etc. as a service. The best insurance is one that’s never needed, after all…
  • The FAA estimates that more than 30,000 commercial drones will be in the sky in the next ten years. They need insurance, and not just for regular damage.
  • And don’t forget the privately owned drones: does your homeowners’ insurance cover it?
  • Want a great read about the scary side of drones? Check out Daniel Suarez’ “Kill decision”

Insurance Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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