Canadian Underwriter
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Insurers move into drone space


March 31, 2015   by


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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company announced in mid-March that it is the first insurer in the United States to receive permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial use.

The decision provides the insurer the opportunity to research this new technology and potentially deploy it in ways that could benefit customers, the insurer said in a press release. Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm plans to explore the use of unmanned aircraft to assess potential roof damage during the claims process and respond to natural disasters.

“The potential use of UAS provides us one more innovative tool to help State Farm customers recover from the unexpected as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Wensley Herbert, operations vice president . The company plans to move forward with test and development flights at private test sites in the Bloomington area, while strictly adhering to parameters set forth by the FAA, State Farm noted in the release.

Meanwhile, Zurich Canada recently introduced an insurance product targeted to risk mitigation and cost saving opportunities available through the use of drones.

The new drone insurance package, developed in partnership with UK-headquartered Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers Limited, a leading provider of aerospace insurance, also closes a coverage gap for companies already making use of drones in their operations, according to Zurich.

“Zurich’s customers in Canada will be the first ones around the world to have access to this unique insurance solution, thanks to the sophisticated regulatory environment governing the use of drones in Canada,” said Urs Uhlmann, CEO of Zurich Global Corporate Canada.