Since the inception of drones as a viable consumer technology in the United States, the uses have become heavily regulated by the FAA in both the recreational and commercial avenues.
For the past few years, the recreational uses for drones have far outweighed the commercial uses. The FAA has been tasked with regulating the use of drones and setting up laws to guide people who wish to use the technology commercially. According to knowbeforeyoufly.org, “If you want to use UAS for a commercial purpose, you have a few options. You can apply for an exemption from the FAA to operate commercially. You can use UAS with an FAA airworthiness certificate and operate pursuant to FAA rules. In both cases you would also need an FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA).”
Recently, State Farm became one of the first U.S. based insurance companies given approval for the commercial use of drones through the FAA. Their intent is to “assess potential roof damage during the claims and respond to natural disasters.”
Nicole Vinson of Propertyinsuranceoveragelaw.com speculated in a recent blog entry about the use of drones for assessing property damage. and brought out an interesting point as to translating the imagery taken by the drone.
Most drones can take high definition images and video of roofing damage, but detail may still get lost if the adjuster is not getting a close enough view of the roof. On the other hand, allowing a drone to recon a damaged property can be place the adjuster out of harms way, especially in the aftermath of a disaster.
State Farm Insurance plans on testing the drone technology with assessing property loss in Bloomington. This will be helpful in telling whether the use of this technology will hinder or improve the adjustment process, and whether the investment for such an innovation is worth the cost.