North Texas

Drones, Artificial Intelligence Used to Survey Storm Damage

Storm season charged through North Texas resulting in home, vehicle, and public property damage. Within the past few weeks thousands of claims have been processed through Insurance companies.

“From the last two hail storms we are just over 12,000 claims,” said Carrie Bonney from Farmers Insurance. "When a large storm hits we begin mapping out where the claims are, then we send in our catastrophe team,” she said.

Farmers insurance adjusters are now armed with a new tool to assess claims. A pilot program using drones and artificial intelligence was launched this storm season.

“It is a really good way for us to quickly and easily get high definition photos of the roof so they can see the damage,” said Bonney.

According to insurance companies, safety and efficiency are two of the main benefits to using aviation technology.

“Some of the roofs are really steep. The adjuster would have to wear a rope and harness. It could take him up to three hours to inspect the roof. If we use a drone, it can be done in 20 minutes,” she said.

The images are collected in three phases.

“First, the drone takes pictures of the corner of the roof and a 3D rendering. The second, the camera takes a general overview of the roof. During the final phase, it drops down 15 to 20 feet near the roof to get a detail scan of the damage,” said Bill Breedlove who both works for Farmers Insurance and operates the drone.

All three phases of imagery are put together to create a 3D-map of the home.

“Its certainly much safer to capture these pictures with an aerial drone than climbing on a roof,” said Breedlove.

The data used from this pilot program will help companies streamline additional drone use in the future.

Contact Us