Allstate will continue using drones in parts of Georgia and South Carolina to assess Hurricane Matthew-related roof and home damage claims.
The drones will be used in Savannah, Ga., and several South Carolina regions, both of which faced flood and wind damage relating to Matthew. Hurricane Matthew plowed through coastal Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia from Oct. 5-9. Early estimates from catastrophe modelers such as Karen Clark & Co. place insured losses at close to $7 billion.
Allstate noted it previously tested drone usage in Texas after a hailstorm to measure how useful drones could be as a tool in the claims adjusting process. With the Federal Aviation Administration having updated commercial drone usage rules, Allstate said it sees the devices as a way to help evaluate wide-spread damage or areas that are hard to reach after a major storm.
Allstate pitches their use as a way to capture up to 4K-resolution images, which would allow an adjuster to look at a simple photograph and then zoom in for extreme detail, even on an individual shingle.
Last December, Allstate said it would team with EagleView Technologies, an aerial imaging and data analytics technology company, to test drone flights that could handle the claims process in new ways. Allstate is also now a member of the Property Drone Consortium, which has had FAA approval to continue research on the use of drones to handle quick assessments of roof damage and other exterior property.
Allstate has focused on pursuing research and development of how to use commercial drones in assessing damages and claims after disasters since 2014. It is part of a growing list of companies pursuing pilot programs or actual use of commercial drones for claims and underwriting processes, including Erie Insurance, AIG, USAA, State Farm and AIG.